Last Updated on 12/30/2021
I can never get enough of the Amalfi Coast, particularly the town of Positano. Since moving to Italy, this idyllic coastal town has quickly become my happy place and I’m always finding excuses to visit. Even looking at photos, it’s hard to believe this legendary luxury destination was once a poor fisherman’s village.
In this complete travel guide to Positano, I’ll share where to stay, the best places to eat, my go-to aperitivo spots and things to do in town. I also included how to get there (the big hurdle) and some other things to consider when planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast.
*This post was updated in March 2021 and contains affiliate links, which mean I might make a commission if you make a purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for your support!*
Things to do in Positano
Spend the day at the Arienzo Beach Club for the best experience at a lido.
Hike the Path of the Gods. The views are incredible!
You can’t miss the church of Santa Maria Assunta in the town center.
Take a ferry over to Capri or a bus to Amalfi for a day trip.
Where to Eat in Positano
If you need more than a cornetto for breakfast, Casa E Bottega is a darling home goods concept store serving healthy salads, omelets and fresh smoothies.
La Tagliata for an experience. This restaurant up on the hill above Positano is known for it’s stunning views and appetizers so filling you’ll forget about the main course. Next 2 for an upscale dinner.
Buca di Bacco Ristorante for dinner down by the main beach and La Pergola’s Buca di Bacco Bar downstairs for a casual aperitivo. Be sure to get the limoncello spritz. They put lemon granita in it!
After posting this photo on Instagram, a few people commented that Il Fornillo is also a wonderful restaurant.
Along Positano’s smaller Fornilla beach, catch a relaxed drink at Da Ferdinando down by the water.
For a fancy (and pricey) aperitivo, posh crowd and stunning views of Positano, Franco’s Bar of Le Sirenuse is the place to be seen.
Bar Bruno for an equally beautiful view a little farther up the street.
Where to stay in Positano
I’ve stayed at Dimora del Podesta and would absolutely return. This is a wonderful B&B with friendly staff, an excellent location and fair price point. Alfie felt right at home!
Also Read: Where to Stay in Positano
On a last minute trip, I felt like I won the jackpot with the last room available at Hotel Dimora Fornillo. They have a peaceful grassy terrace with stunning ocean views and easy access to Fornillo beach.
Casa Albertina is a more central option (read: only slightly less stairs) for rooms with a balcony and ocean view.
I’ve walked by Casa Buonocore a dozen times and I’ve always wanted to stay there.
What to Wear
I always bring flat sandals, a bathing suit and a few dresses. Be sure to pack a hat for sun protection and big tote for going to the beach. For the evening, I’d recommend avoiding stilettos, but you could still get around in wedge espadrilles if you’re prefer heels.
You’ll want to save some room in your luggage for souvenirs. When you’re there, check out Nadir or La Bottega Di Brunella for fine linen. Also try to pack light as you’ll probably be carrying your luggage up stairs and hills.
How to get to Positano
By ferry: The ferries to Positano from Naples stop in Sorrento first. There is no direct ferry from Naples to Positano.
By bus: From the Naples Airport Capodichino, you can take a bus directly to Sorrento and bypass the Circumvesuviana train. I used Curreri Viaggi once for 10 euro and would recommend it over the train if timing allows.
By train/bus: From the downtown Naples train station, you can take the Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento. Please note that this isn’t exactly a luxury train and closely watch your belongings. Transfer to the Sita bus in Sorrento. The Sita Bus leaves at least twice an hour from Sorrento during the high season (schedule).
Also read: How to get to Positano from Naples
If you’re visiting Positano from Rome, you might also want to consider taking a train to Salerno and then a ferry to Positano.
I usually drive to Positano since I have a Fiat, but I’ve also taken the Circumvesuviana. The drive is about 90 minutes from Naples. Most hotels will be able to direct you to their overnight parking (around €20 a night). If you’re going to rent a car be sure to read my tips for driving!
How long should I stay in Positano?
This really depends on your budget and the type of vacation you are looking for. If you are a beach person and just want a relaxing holiday, go for it and stay a week! However, hotels are more expensive in Positano.
If you’re working with a more limited budget, it is possible to enjoy what Positano has to offer for just one night. While you can do a day trip from Naples, it is nice to stay at least one night. After all the cruise ships have left and the day-trippers have returned to home base, Positano seems to quiet down and you can really experience a different side of the town.
More Positano Travel Tips
Positano is a luxury destination on the Amalfi Coast and it isn’t exactly a budge destination. You can stay for two or three nights in Naples for less than one night in a two star hotel in Positano.
Positano has a TON of stairs and steep inclines. People don’t talk about this enough. I’m a little embarrassed, but I am always a little sore after a weekend in Positano! So if you have a stroller, heavy luggage or an old dog named Alfie that you have to carry, expect to get a work out!
Yes, this town floods with tourist during the summer and when a cruise ship ports in Naples. You may want to consider shoulder season if you want Positano all to yourself. I also went the first weekend of October one year and it was still lovely. The clouds were lurking and it sprinkled one morning, but there were certainly no lines or crowds.
Personally, I’m not going to let a little crowd get in the way of a sunny beach day and this sunset view….
John Steinbeck was right, “Positano bites deep.” I practically start planning my next weekend getaway right when I get home.