Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Positano
Plans to visit Positano? You have come to the right place! If you follow me on Instagram then you already know that Positano Italy on the Amalfi Coast is my favorite place in the entire world. I refuse to stop professing my love for it.
My love affair with Positano started in the summer of 2014 while three girl friends and I were on a month long Europe trip. As we sailed up to Positano via ferry I remember feeling an overwhelming sensation that I had found my place. I couldn’t believe that what I was seeing was real. No photos, no matter how good, can do this place justice — it is truly something you have to see for yourself.
I have since visited numerous times and try to get back as often as I possibly can. Along the way I have met and become good friends with many locals born and raised in Positano. During my visits they have helped me uncover the very best things to see and do, places to eat and drink, and hotels to stay at. And now I am sharing them with you!
So if you are looking for the very best Positano recommendations, here is everything you need to know:
BEFORE YOU GO, DON'T MISS MY LIST OF 8 THINGS YOU ABSOLUTELY CANNOT MISS IN POSITANO, 34 PHOTOS THAT'LL MAKE YOU WANT TO VISIT THE AMALFI COAST ASAP, AND AMALFI COAST MAP AND TOP TOWNS TO VISIT!
HOW TO GET TO POSITANO
I’m going to be totally honest with you — Positano is a bit of a pain to get to. Where is Positano Italy? It’s on the coast of Italy, the Amalfi Coast to be exact, and is quite remote. You can’t just hop on a train and magically end up there, unfortunately, nor can you fly in. The good news is it is totally worth it and I have done all of the research for you!
If you are coming to the Amalfi Coast via train (i.e. not flying in), you should take a train to Salerno and then arrive in Positano via ferry. It is truly magical and a great way to start your trip. On the way out, depending on where you are heading, you can go the cab route to either Naples or Salerno.
Salerno to Positano ferry: The ferry takes 1 hour and 15 minutes, leaving every hour or two (changes based on time of year). Check the schedule here to be sure. It makes a stop at Amalfi on the way (good photo opp) and they serve drinks and snacks on board.
You can also take a cab if you want. A cab from Positano to Salerno will take about 1 hour and 45 minutes and goes along the coast. It cost us €130.
If you are flying in, your only option is from Naples. My recommendation in this case is that you hire a private transfer from the airport to your hotel. Click here to see the latest prices for a shared transfer and click here to see the latest prices for a private transfer. There is no Uber in this area.
Since getting to Positano and the Amalfi Coast can be a bit confusing, I have an entire post dedicated to it! Click here for how to get to Positano.
NOTE: IF YOU HAVE PLANS TO VISIT OTHER AREAS OF ITALY DURING YOUR TRIP, CHECK OUT MY ITALY VACATIONS: THE BEST ONE TO THREE WEEK ITALY ITINERARY POST FOR PLANNING HELP!
What to Pack for Positano
COMFORTABLE SHOES. You will likely (hopefully) be doing a lot of walking so this is very important! My very favorite are M. Gemi’s white leather sneakers. I literally never travel anywhere without them. Click here to see latest prices and click here to get $50 off!
SUNGLASSES. Of course! Three timeless styles I’ve been wearing non-stop: click here for my favorite Quay aviators (I have numerous pairs), click here for my round Ray-Bans, and click here for my all time favorite black on black Ray-Bans that are often hard to track down because they sell out consistently.
BRIGHT LIPSTICK. Because you won’t want to spend time on makeup, and you’ll probably have a bit tan depending on when you go, so a bright lip is the perfect way to spice up your nighttime look! Click here for the one I've been loving from Sephora (especially because it’s called “First Class” and it seems like good upgrade karma, haha).
CONVERTER ADAPTER. This one is universal and works no matter where you’re going so it’s a must. When going to the EU I also bring along this very inexpensive 6 pack so that I have extras. So much to charge these days! Need other recommendations? Click here to see my list of 20 must have travel products from Amazon Prime.
STYLISH CAMERA BAG… if you are bringing a camera! You can’t go to Italy with anything that isn’t chic ;) I usually bring GATTA’s Christie camera backpack (named after me) because it’s hands free, has a zipper AND a buttoned flap, and fully protects my camera yet is so cute no one will ever know it’s a camera bag. Click here to see the latest prices. Want to see more options? Click here for the most stylish camera bags for women!
BLACK PASHMINA. A total lifesaver! It folds up small so you are able to easily throw it in any bag and it weighs basically nothing. However, because of the material it is capable of keeping you surprisingly warm in situations where you have mistakenly underestimated the weather. You can wear it as a scarf, wrap it around your body like a shawl, use it as a blanket on cold planes or trains, etc. - it serves so many purposes. I recommend a black one because black goes with everything and if it gets dirty along the way it will be way less noticeable. Pro tip: if you’re only bringing a small cross body bag with room for your wallet, tie it to the strap! Click here for J. Crew’s best selling version.
LEATHER TOTE. I never, ever, ever travel without my Cuyana Leather Zipper Tote. It holds so much yet never feels as heavy as other bags! Click here to check it out. Wanna know my organizational tricks? Click here for how to organize your carry-on.
REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE. I always pack this but it's especially handy in Italy because there are so many fountains you can fill up in. Hydro Flask is the best because it keeps your drink cold (or warm). So worth the investment. Click here to see the latest prices.
Want more recommendations? Click here for more of my recommended travel essentials!
WHERE TO STAY IN POSITANO
As soon as you know what dates you will be visiting, you must book accommodations! The best spots sell out months in advance and, during peak tourist season, it’s possible for every single place to be booked (really).
While there are endless amounts of places to stay in Positano, I very highly and confidently recommend the following Positano Italy hotels:
DIMORA DEL PODESTA — An absolutely wonderful b&b ran by the sweetest local family. It is incredibly reasonably priced and the location is absolutely perfect. From the main beach/center of town it’s about a 15 minute walk (uphill but very doable) or you can take a bus or cab there if need be. Staying here will make you feel like a resident of Positano, not a tourist surrounded by huge crowds of people.
Each morning they serve you breakfast on the terrace overlooking town which is MAGICAL. Also some of my favorite Positano memories were while sitting on the balcony, drinking wine, listening to music (often live music from the street below) and people watching.
I have had numerous friends, blog readers, and Instagram followers stay here at my recommendation over the years and they've all loved it as well. Tell them I sent you and please let me know if you stay here! I’d love to hear how you liked it.
HOTEL POSEIDON — A stunning, family-run, 4-star hotel in the heart of Positano. They have the most beautiful view, the most beautiful space, and the kindest, sweetest employees you could ever imagine. If you meet Marco or Liliana, say hi for me :)
Sidenote: if you end up not being able to stay here, make sure to still visit. More on that later!
LE SIRENUSE — The best of the best; Positano’s most iconic hotel. It is 5-stars and the most sought after place to stay. If you are able to splurge a bit (ok, a lot), this is the place to do it.
VILLA TREVILLE — Another amazing 5-star hotel. It’s not your typical hotel but actually a collection of five villas surrounded by gardens and private terraces. If you want a bit of privacy, Villa Treville is for you. Plus it’s unanimous 10/10 rating on Hotels Combined kind of speaks for itself, no?
If AIRBNB is more your style, there are many options there as well! I stayed in this one last time and it was great. It’s very spacious and Luca even helped us carry our bags up the hill.
Get $40 off your first Airbnb stay here.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER TOWNS? DO YOU HAVE TO STAY IN POSITANO? YES. You have to stay in Positano. I tell everyone this but a few times people have chosen to stay in Sorrento or Capri instead for whatever reason. They always regret it and tell me I was right. You’ve gotta stay in Positano.
If you do want to stay on Capri or elsewhere, add on additional days to your trip to do it. Transportation around the coast is not fantastic so wherever you stay is where you will spend most of your time. Trust me on this one.
WHERE TO EAT + DRINK
Positano, Italy is full of so many amazing places to eat and drink. When picking out a restaurant I am primarily interested in finding delicious, fresh, healthy food ideally made with local ingredients, served in a beautiful, preferably photogenic space. Bonus points if the owners and staff are fantastic as well.
If that lines up with what you are looking for, here are the best spots:
SARACENA D’ORO (Via Pasitea #254) — A casual Italian food restaurant right below Dimora del Podesta and owned by the same wonderful family. Get the pizza! Make reservations and you MUST eat outside on the street.
IL TRIDENTE (Via Pasitea 140) — This is the restaurant at Hotel Poseidon. The view from the terrace where this is located is one of the most amazing views in Positano! It offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner using only local ingredients. It’s also the most perfect place to grab a cocktail and watch the sunset.
DA VINCENZO (Via Pasitea 172/178) — One of the oldest restaurants in Positano, I believe. Local cuisine and very good!
LA SPONDA (Via San Sebastiano 2) — Mediterranean cuisine at Le Sirenuse using fresh, local ingredients in the most beautiful venue. You’ve seen this one on Instagram, I’m sure. Expensive and hard to get into but allegedly worth it (I haven’t actually dined here). Now Michelin-starred, too!
CHAMPAGNE BAR & GRILL (Via San Sebastiano 2) — A champagne and oyster bar at Le Sirenuse. Very pricey (I think one drink was €22) but worth it for the view!
RISTORANTE MEDITERRANEO (Via Pasitea 236 - 238) — Great seafood and often live music! Very friendly staff, too.
FRANCO’S BAR (Via Cristoforo Colombo 30) — A beautiful bar with an old-fashioned, quality-first drinks menu and the best view in town! No food. This spot is so lovely that I see it via Instagram almost every day because my local friends go here what feels like every night.
DA ADOLFO (Via Laurito 40) — Fresh seafood on the beach! Only reachable by boat (free for restaurant guests). You must make reservations by phone at +39 089875022. Very cool experience.
LA TAGLIATA (Via Tagliata 32b) — I have not been here but it was highly recommended to me by a friend. They pick you up from your hotel and shuttle you to their restaurant in Montepertuso. There's no menu, you pay ~40 Euros for all you can drink wine and a many course meal. The views are unreal.
DA FERDINANDO (Spaggia di Fornillo) — For lunch while at Fornillo beach! Excellent.
CHEZ BLACK (Via del Brigantino 19) — Another great Mediterranean restaurant, ran by the same folks that own Music on the Rocks!
WHAT TO DO IN POSITANO
I get more questions about Positano from blog readers and Instagram followers than almost anywhere else. One of the most common being: is X days too many? I have personally been numerous times and have yet to be bored for even a second. In fact, it’s the only place I have ever cried when leaving. To me, no amount of time here is too long.
Of course, it depends on what you are looking for and what type of traveler you are. When I visit most places I try to cram as much as humanly possible into each and every day, never taking a second to relax. But something about Positano makes me behave differently; I can actually spend a carefree day here at the beach or lounging at Hotel Poseidon’s pool.
As with most great places, there are usually too many things to do in too little time, so be sure to check out my list of 8 THINGS YOU ABSOLUTELY CANNOT MISS IN POSITANO to help you narrow it down.
VISIT THE OTHER AMALFI COAST TOWNS. If you have listened to me (and you should) then you have decided to stay in Positano. If you have the time and the emotional capacity to leave Positano for the day, you should visit the other Amalfi Coast towns.
My favorite way to do so is via scooter. It is magic; there is nothing like zipping around the world’s most beautiful coastline without windows, a car frame, or anything else blocking your view.
If you aren’t comfortable renting and driving a scooter, you can also do so via car. This tour is via a vintage open air Fiat which conveniently provides unobstructed photo opps.
The day I spent zipping around the coast on the back of a scooter was truly one of the best days of my life and one that I will remember forever. Here is my photo recap of that day to hopefully inspire you to do this, plus my guide to all of the Amalfi Coast towns I recommend you visit!
SPEND A DAY RELAXING AT THE BEACH. Many people don’t know this, but the main beach in Positano is not the only beach. The beach you see in everyone’s photos and the one you arrive at if you come by ferry, Marina Grande, can become a bit of a tourist nightmare depending on time of year.
A short walk away is a much lesser known beach, Fornillo Beach, where locals and wanna-be locals like myself hang out instead. It’s a bit smaller but still easy to get a spot at even in July during peak tourist season. The beach is lined with many restaurants and beach bars like Da Ferdinando so you can grab a meal or drink between lounge sessions. I always spend at least one full day here while visiting!
OTHER GREAT OPTIONS:
One Fire Beach Club in Praiano
Treville Beach Club
Arienzo Beach Club
SPEND A DAY RELAXING AT HOTEL POSEIDON’S POOL. If you need to escape the crowds or need a beach alternative, this is it! The view from the Hotel Poseidon’s terrace is one of the most amazing views in Positano, I can never get enough. Pool access is free for hotel guests but as a non-guest you can pay a fee to access. I often find myself spending the day here, going home to shower and change, and heading right back over for sunset drinks next to the pool at Il Tridente.
TAKE A BOAT TO CAPRI FOR THE DAY. You absolutely cannot visit the Amalfi Coast without seeing it from the water at least once. Most would also argue that you can’t visit without stopping by Capri, so let’s kill two birds with one stone for this item. Click here for a popular tour option.
La Fontelina is a jaw-dropping, iconic beach club located on the island of Capri. If you’re a fan of Gray Malin, you will recognize this spot from his La Dolce Vita series. While I happen to have the unpopular opinion that the island in general is nothing to write home about (at least not in July), La Fontelina is a different story. It’s an absolute dream.
The Blue Grotto? Skip it.
SHOP. I’m not normally big a on shopping while on holiday but Positano is different. I love to roam around the little shops on the main street while walking to and from wherever I am staying.
One thing in particular that you should buy is local, handmade, custom sandals which the Amalfi Coast is known for. Positano is filled with dozens of stores that will make you sandals by hand while you wait, fit perfectly to your foot! You simply pick the style, the color, the size, and within around 15 minutes you have your own pair of fully custom sandals. I had mine made during a power outage (very impressive!) and still love them four years later.
WANDER AROUND TOWN. If shopping isn’t your thing, you should still spend time walking all over Positano. Walk down to Fornillo Beach, from Fornillo over to Marina Grande, up and down Via Pasitea, etc. Just don’t forget your camera!
DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY AT MUSIC ON THE ROCKS. Any of you that know me in real life will likely be a bit surprised by this one since I almost always prefer a night in and rarely will you ever find me at a club. Unless in Positano, that is!
Music on the Rocks is a club in a cave and it is so. much. fun.! I don’t know what it is exactly that makes me love this place despite not being a club person, but you’ll catch me here until it closes down at 4am most nights I am in town. Don’t miss it and make sure not to show up before 1am or you’ll be the only one there, literally!
WANT SOME EXERCISE? Try the Walk of the Gods.
GO KAYAKING. I haven’t had a chance to do this yet, but my friends at Hotel Poseidon have said they love this tour. It’s on my list for next time!
And that's that! If you're reading this because you're debating visiting - I really cannot say enough how wonderful it is. Of course it's a popular destination for couples, as it should be, but I went with three girl friends and also had the time of my life. Do yourself a favor and book it immediately.
If you have any questions not answered above, drop them below!