Looking for things to do in Positano Italy? We have created a guide over what to do in Positano and Amalfi Coast so you can feel comfortable going on the vacation you have always wanted to. To find out what to do in Positano Italy you can read on to discover this fairy tale coastal city. Positano has wonderful Italian souvenirs to bring home.
Positano is the charm that makes southern Amalfi Italy what it is. As you look out over your viewpoint to the stucco-colored homes which cover the coastal hills, you will see a sea painted as bright as watercolors, sun-kissed homes that are a Mediterranean staple, beachgoers, boutiques filled with luxury fashion from Milan, sweet liqueurs, and gelato made from scratch.
It is everything you could want in an Italian vacation and many people rush to steal photos of its picturesque cityscape which you can find on postcards around the country. We have taken the liberty to guide you through a typical itinerary of what to do in Positano to guarantee you have the time of your life and don’t miss a thing while you are there.
How to get to Positano
Positano is a well-known city/village on Italy’s southern coast which is famously known as the Amalfi Coast. It is prime on any backpacking trip through Italy (or Europe) because it is well-connected to other Italian towns such as bus rides from Rome and train rides from Naples. It is also easy to find tours that go through Positano — especially coming from cruise ports along the renowned Mediterranean cruising coastline.
The closest major airport is Naples which is only an hour and a half train ride from many cities along the Amalfi Coast such as Positano, Sorrento, Amalfi, Maiori, and more. Its proximity is what makes it a prime holiday spot for tourists.
Drive to Positano
I would not recommend driving in Positano or to Positano. The roads are extremely narrow and very windy. The views are stunning so leave the driving to someone else and sit back and take in the views. The cliffs are beautiful but also terrifying.
Train to Positano
If you opt to take the train you should know that there is no stop in Positano. You will need to get off at Salerno and either transfer by bus, private transfer or by ferry. You can also get off in Sorrento if you are taking the train from Naples. We traveled by train from Rome to Salerno and then took the ferry.
Ferry to Positano
If you are visiting Positano in the summer then I would recommend taking the ferry. It is fast and convenient not to mention the magnificent views. If you are traveling from Naples by ferry it will first stop in Sorrento and then continue to Positano. This route only runs in the high season so be sure to check the schedule.
Getting from Sorrento to Positano is a quick 50-minute ferry ride. You can also take a ferry from Salerno to Positano where you will be able to see the beautiful scenery as you pass through Amalfi. On my last trip, we took the ferry from Amalfi to Positano and the views are majestic as the boat pulls up to the coast in Positano.
Bus to Positano
You can travel to Positano by SITA bus either from Sorrento and Salerno. The bus ride is approximately 45 minutes and very scenic.
Private Shuttle to Positano
Although pricey, you can always hire a private shuttle from anywhere in Italy to drive you to Positano. If you are short on time or are traveling in a large group then this may be the best option.
Positano Italy Things to Do
There are practically limitless Positano things to do and we will break them all down for you:
- Take the Path of the Gods Hike – also known as Il Sentiero degli Dei, this is one of the most spectacular things to do if you want to see all the scenery Positano has to offer. Book your hike here.
- Be inspired by the Church of Santa Maria Assunta – this church is the centerpiece of Positano. No matter where you go in the city, you will probably end up crossing the Church of Santa Maria Assunta.
- Ride a Vespa around the quaint Italian streets – a classic Italian itinerary filler, but in Positano, the views are enhanced and the streets are even tighter. Plus, you could continue cruising the Amalfi Coast, too, which is beautiful in itself.
- Taste test the Limoncello – this vibrant liqueur is an Amalfi Coast specialty. Walk the alleys and taste the sweet liqueur at every street corner. Find your favorite and pack a souvenir bottle as gifts for loved ones back home. Book your Limoncello tour here. Make sure to bring some Limoncello home, it makes a great souvenir from Italy.
- Check out the Positano art galleries – there are at least a dozen boutique art galleries hiding in the hills and alleys of Positano. It is fun to subliminally track them down while hiking the narrow streets. Go inside and check them out, it’s free!
- Dance all night at Music on the Rocks – even if you are not wearing your dancing shoes, this nightclub in Positano is worth checking out as it is built inside a cave with a phenomenal view.
- Rent a boat & explore the grottos – you can rent a boat for a full day in Positano for as little as $180 and explore the multiple grottos yourself or take a guided tour. Choose the option which makes more sense for you and your travel companions. Check for a guided tour here.
- Go scuba diving – the visibility along the Amalfi Coast is usually excellent and the pristine waters are full of sea life. Explore the turquoise clear waters on an underwater Mediterranean experience!
Day Trips from Positano Amalfi Coast
Like mentioned before, Positano is located perfectly for numerous day trips while visiting. If you wanted some big-city action, Naples is only an hour north up the coast. Plus, many cities along the Amalfi Coast are just a short scooter/taxi drive from Positano. There are plenty of things to do on the Amalfi Coast to keep you busy for a week or more. Below, we have listed a few of the hot tourist places which are within a day trip (2 hours or less) from Positano:
Positano to Naples
The easiest way to get to Naples is by train departing from Sorrento or the high-speed ferry from the Sorrento port. The ferry is convenient as it arrives at the Molo Beverello pier right in the center of Naples.
Positano to Amalfi
The best way to get to Amalfi from Positano is by ferry and will get you to Amalfi in less than half an hour. You can also take the SITA bus from Positano to Amalfi that also takes approximately half an hour depending on traffic. Not only are the buses crowded during the summer months but so are the roads.
Positano to Sorrento
You can take the bus or ferry from Positano to Sorrento. Make sure to check out the main square and wander through the streets of Sorrento. Sorrento is much larger than Positano so unless you are doing a tour I would recommend planning our day. As you are strolling the streets of Sorrento, I would recommend stopping to try the freshly squeezed pomegranate juice. It is so delicious and good for you. If you have more time then head to the Limoncello factory. The smell of lemons, as you pull into the factory, is amazing.
Positano to Maiori
Maiori is a town and comune on the Amalfi coast in the province of Salerno. It has been a popular tourist resort since Roman times, with the longest unbroken stretch of beach on the Amalfi coastline.
Positano to Pompeii
If you’re not traveling by tour to Pompeii then you can take a bus from Positano to Meta (35 minutes) and then the train to Pompeii Scavi (20 minutes). That is the quickest route. The best way to learn the most about a destination and to maximize your time is by a guided tour. You can do a small group tour with an archeologist and discover this UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Island of Capri from Positano
Capri is an island located in Italy’s Bay of Naples and is famed for its beautiful rugged landscape. There you will also find many upscale hotels and shopping. Most people will visit the Island of Capri to view the Blue Grotto. The water is an electric blue in the cove from the sunlight passing through the underwater cave.
The ferry from Positano to Capri is approximately a 30-minute ferry ride and operates from April to October. Make sure to check the schedule as the ferry won’t run if the sea is rough. It is highly recommended to book your ferry ticket in advance to avoid the long lines during the summer months.
To make the most of your trip you can opt to do the Capri & Blue Grotto Small Group Tour By Boat From Sorrento where you can enjoy snorkeling in the Mediterranean as well as strolling through the streets of Capri.
Positano to Ravello
To get from Positano to Ravello you will first need to get to Amalfi. You can either take the bus or ferry to Amalfi and then take the bus to Ravello. The bus from Amalfi to Ravello leaves hourly. You can also take a taxi. Ravello is home to beautiful cliffside gardens. There are also magnificent views from the terraced gardens at the 13-century Villa Rufolo. You can also visit Villa Combrone.
Where to Eat? (Positano Restaurants Italy)
Some of the best restaurants in Positano are places you would not expect. Along its extremely hilly, steep, narrow streets, you can (still) find some secret gems of Positano’s best restaurants. These are the hole-in-the-wall joints you don’t see on travel guides and the places which probably serve the most authentic Italian dishes you will find along the Amalfi Coast.
If you are not in the mood for a sit-down meal, you can also have a sandwich made for you at one of the local stores that have a deli. It makes a great lunch to take to the beach.
While we encourage you to explore yourself to find Positano best restaurants according to your own tastes, we figured we would list a few of our favorite Positano Italy restaurants to get you started:
- Buca di Bacco
- Il Tridente
- Ristorante Mirage
- Adamo ed Eva by Eden Roc
- Ristorante di Costantino
- Terraza Celé
- Casa e Bottega
- Rada Restaurant
- Chez Black
Best Positano Coast Beaches
The pristine turquoise water, pebbly beaches are some of the best things to do in Positano Italy. You will frequent the beaches in Positano, so lather on that sun lotion, grab your beach towel, pack a picnic (may we recommend Italian pizza?), and find a spot under the gorgeous Mediterranean sun for an afternoon in paradise. Here are some of the most popular spots to go beachin’ in Positano:
The easiest way to get to Laurito Beach is by the 5 minutes Da Adolfo shuttle boat at the marina pier. You can also take the bus or walk. Once you arrive at the square by Hotel San Pietro get ready to trek down the 450 steps that lead down to the small beach. Lounge chair rentals are available as well as a restaurant that is located just above the beach.
Spiaggia Grande Beach
Spiaggia Grande Beach or Positano Beach is the main beach in Positano. This popular beach is considered the best beach on the Amalfi Coast. The beach has a public area as well as a private section. The beach gets crowded during the summer months. The beach offers spectacular views on either side. A spectacular cliffside on one side and turquoise waters on the other.
Fornillo Beach is a 10-minute walk from the main beach. You can also get there by boat from the main pier. If you decide to rent a beach chair, towel, and umbrella from the beach clubs, you will be able to get a free boat ride back to town. There is also food and drink available for purchase.
Arienzo Beach Club is reachable from the “La Banchina” pier in Positano with a shuttle boat. The ride is free with a lounger and umbrella rental. There is also a free section on the beach if you prefer to take the scenic 300 steps down to the beach.
Where to Shop in Amalfi Coast Positano?
Almost any traveler who comes to the Amalfi Coast knows it is a place for high fashion and chic, trendy retailers and boutiques trickling from Milan; the fashion capital of the world. It would not be a trip to Positano without a little holiday shopping so you can sport the hot Mediterranean look you deserve.
We have taken the initiative to give you a headstart to make sure you don’t spend your whole holiday on a shopping spree in Positano (trust us, it is totally possible). Make sure to take some time to shop for your Italian souvenirs to take home. I wanted to purchase every ceramic and home decor item as well as homemade Liqueurs and crafts. Here are a few of our favorite retailers and boutiques when it comes to chic fashion and ceramics in Positano:
- Nana’ Positano
- Ceramiche Casola
- Artigianato Rallo
- Absolute Positano
- Maria Lampo
Best Positano Italy Hotels
Italy has great accommodation all over the country and when it comes to the Amalfi Coast, it only gets better. Some offer views incomparable to anywhere else in the country or Europe. Imagine waking up in the morning with the Mediterranean breeze in your face on a balcony as you look out over the sparkling blue sea. Here are a few of the best hotels in Positano Italy:
For hotels, I always use Booking.com, as you will notice in my recommendations below. I love them as they always have the best prices on hotels. Click here to search Booking.com for the best deals.
- Villa Palumbo B&B –Villa Palumbo B&B offers rooms with a balcony and free WiFi. The beach is only a 10-minute walk. Book your stay at Villa Palumbo B&B here
- Hotel Casa Albertina – Only a short 10-minute walk from a sandy beach in Positano, Hotel Casa Albertina features a sun terrace with views of the sea and a bar. Book your stay at Casa Albertina here.
- Dimora del Podestà – This property is rated for the best value in Positano! Book your stay at Dimora del Podesta here.
- Alcione Residence – This hotel is located in a pedestrian zone and is only a 10-minute walk from the beach. Book your stay at Alcione Residence here.
- Le Sirenuse – Yes, this is an expensive hotel. We visited here for lunch and the views are spectacular. The hotel is located close to many bars and restaurants. Book your stay at Le Sirenuse here.
- Airbnb Positano -When I’m not staying at a hotel, I love booking our stays through Airbnb. Airbnb provides an authentic local experience. It is also great if you are traveling with a family as you can get more space for less money than a hotel stay. Click here to get $40 USD off your first stay and you can also get $15 off an experience.
Your Guide to Positano Italy & the Amalfi Coast
Now, you know what to do in Positano Italy. With all its beauty, history, and culture running from its walls, it can become quite overwhelming drawing up an itinerary; especially when there are so many awe-inspiring day trips within arm’s reach.
You have an idea of how to get there, things to do, day trips to take, where to stay, where to shop, the popular beaches, and the best Positano restaurants.
However, as much information as we have given you in this article, our biggest tip for you is to take time to explore its streets for yourself. The narrow streets tumbling down to the waterfront, crumbling stucco, and faded pastel paint jobs are what make this place feel so special. You won’t know Positano until you get out and explore it yourself. Don’t let our guide let you lose your sense of exploration in this city. Use us as a guide and nothing more and enjoy your trip!
If you are planning a trip to Italy, make sure to also check our other Italy travel guides:
- Shopping in Italy for the Perfect Italy Souvenir
- Best Amalfi Coast Towns to Visit
- Where to Stay in Cinque Terre
- Top Sardinia Beaches You Must Visit
- Top 8 Cinque Terre Beaches to Visit This Summer
- Where to Eat and Drink in Rome, Italy
- 16 Best Things to Do in Rome in Two Days
- 18 Must-Have Experiences When Visiting Venice Landmarks
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