Positano, Italy Travel Guide

When planning our trip to Europe, I knew that a few days in Positano was a MUST. This city was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been but planning it was a challenge! I relied heavily on past travelers blog posts! So I figured I would share our trip with you—in case you are wanting to plan a trip yourself! (and you should!!!)

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Our itinerary looked like this: We flew into Rome and spent one evening + one night there. Rome wasn’t HUGE on my bucket list of places to see, so what we got to see in one evening was good enough for me! I made sure to book a hotel near the Rome Termini so that we could walk to the train station quickly the next morning! We only had 3 days in Positano, so I wanted to make sure we made the most of what time we did have! We took the 9:30am train from Rome to Salerno (book this ahead of time so that you save some money.) I booked the train tickets via the Omio app + through Italo Rail! The train ride was about 2 hours long and $20ish per person! The train had wifi and it was a beautiful ride!

We arrived in Salerno around 11:20am and walked 10 minutes to the ferry. (I would recommend using data on your phone during your trip. My mom had a plan that allowed us to use her phone and we relied on her phone for directions SO OFTEN.) We followed google maps to Travel Mar Ferry and walked right up to purchase a ticket! We then hopped on the ferry about 15 minutes later and arrived in Positano in less than an hour! The ride was smooth but I have heard others say that depending on the day, it can be rocky! So if you get sea sick, bring some medicine!

From there is where it got HARD. Positano is basically a city on a mountain. With LOTS AND LOTS of stairs. Honestly, no one really warned me about how bad it was. My biggest tips are:

Pack a carry on bag only if possible.

Book an airbnb very close to the city center. (Of course, you’ll spend a bit more, but its worth it)

ASK for directions.

I knew ahead of time that booking a place closer to the center was important and honestly, I read every single review on the BnB that we booked, and was under the impression that it was not hard to get to. WELL, it WAS. Honestly, it wasn’t terrible once we were able to figure out the bus situation, but it would have been nearly impossible to take our bags there by foot to the BnB like I had originally planned. Finding the bus stop was a situation in itself. The bus stop is at the top of the hill. Just ask for directions to it. It’s VERY confusing to explain. But if you’re walking up hill, you’re mostly going the right way. LOL When you get to the top, you’ll want to purchase a ticket for yourself and your bag at a little convenient store right next to the bus stop. It’s only a few dollars. Then make sure you take the correct bus! There is only ONE road around the entire town, and its a one way, so you have to make sure you get off at the right spot!

An hour and a half later, we FINALLY arrived at Case Nilde + got settled in. This place was a gem. We had a small terrace, free breakfast + air conditioning. Which is another thing you’ll want to keep in mind when booking a place! Italy in the summer is HOT and air conditioning is actually not super common, so just check on those things when booking!

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Now for the fun things. We were on a bit of a budget +time crunch so we didn’t do ALL the things we would have liked but here are the top things I would recommend doing.

  1. The main beach (Spiaggia Grande) is fun, but packed. There is a smaller beach (Spiaggia del Fornillo) about 20 minutes walking distance that is less crowded and even more beautiful.

  2. Don’t settle for the restaurants that are closest to the water. Find the restaurants that are tucked away in the alleys. Those are the best. Side note: WATER ISN’T FREE (so you might as well drink wine) and every restaurant has a cover charge. Also, There is no need to tip—but it’s always polite if you want to leave a few euros.

  3. Rent a private boat. This one is costly, we didn’t do it but I’ve heard its worth it!!

  4. Take the ferry to Capri for a day.

    • Okay, our day on Capri was my favorite!!! You can purchase ferry tickets on the day of— the ferry leaves about every half an hour (I think??) and you’ll want to catch it in the morning and return in the evening! It’s like 40 euros per person!

    • When on the Island of Capri, be prepared for MORE steps and hills! When you get off of the ferry, take a right and walk alllllll the way to the end of the beach for the prettiest spot!!

    • Stroll the roads, stop at the beautiful hotels, drink more wine + shop the ritzy stores!

  5. Back in Positano, buy local shoes. There are so many cute little shops that will custom make you a pair of sandals right there!! You pick out the design + material and they make it right in front of you!

  6. Shop, shop, shop! There are so many cute boutiques + unique stores!

  7. Drink Aperol Spritz’ + Lemoncello. It’s the Italian thing to do.

  8. Eat, eat, EAT!! We wanted to visit as many restaurants as possible so sometimes we would go to three in one night. (Remember, they eat late, so dinner at 9 is totally normal) We would do apps and drinks at one, dinner at another and dessert + a night cap at the last. Some of our favorite restaurants were:

    • Cafe Positano

    • Ristorante Max

    • Hotel Villa Gabrisa

    • Capricci

    • La Gazara (really great coffee!!!)

    • And sooo many more!!! You really can’t go wrong.

  9. Take SOOO many photos!!! Literally everywhere you turn, the view is incredible.

  10. Take a day trip to Ravello. We didn’t get to do this because of lack of time, but I’ve heard that it’s amazing!!

Speaking of day trips to the nearby towns, if you’re trying to save a little money, you can book AMAZING hotels + airbnbs at nearby towns for HALF THE PRICE. And getting around is super easy. Between the ferries + the buses, there are plenty of options! But staying in Positano is super fun if you want to be right in the middle of all the hustle and bustle!

Some tips for your trip to Positano:

  1. When it comes to packing— if you’re headed there in the summer, leave the jeans + shorts at home. I personally lived in my bathing suit and summer dresses! I also took along a few hats to wear! They actually came in super handy because beach hair + with so much to do in such little time, showering + doing my hair wasn’t a priority!

  2. Don’t even think about renting a car. The roads are INSANELY narrow and steep. Just don’t.

  3. You can fly in and out of Naples—the airport is about a 1.5 hour drive from Positano if you want to avoid the long day of traveling from Rome to Positano. From Naples airport you can hire a private driver (around 150 euros). This is your best option, but I warn you, the roads are so windy for the entire drive!!! It’s wild.

  4. Ciao means hello + goodbye! Who knew! ;)

  5. They don’t drink regular coffee… mostly cappuccinos or espressos. Not gonna lie, kinda missed my regular old, Folgers coffee. Don’t judge me. LOL

  6. At dinner, IT TAKES FOREVER TO GET YOUR CHECK. You will always have to ask for it. It’s because Europeans are so relaxed and dinner is an experience, not just a way to fill you up. ;) Enjoy it!!

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That’s all for now! If you have any questions— comment below!!