Positano is a beautiful, little beach town in Italy on the Amalfi Coast, famous for its colorful buildings, excellent restaurants, and picturesque coastline.
The village of Positano is home to tiny, winding roads that run down to the sea and are lined with restaurants, shops, and cute boutique hotels such as Hotel Marincanto, where I spent three euphoric days taking way too many pictures of the most photogenic town I have ever seen.
Positano is a popular destination for couples looking for a romantic getaway as well as families and groups stopping through on day tours. If you would like to spend a few days in this magical town, here are 25 of the best things to do in Positano.
1) Wander The City
Positano is the perfect walking city! My husband and I spent hours wandering the winding roads of the village and exploring the beach path that hugs the mountainside and ends up at the watch tower castles (which are now luxury vacation rentals).
Every turn brings something new and exciting things into view. As you meander through Positano, the charm of this otherworldly town is intoxicating. I suggest leaving at least half a day free to just wander the city and enjoy the slow-paced Italian coastal lifestyle.
If you’d like someone to show you around the city you can book this Old Town Positano Walking Tour.
2) Stay At Hotel Marincanto
This little gem of a hotel in Positano is a destination in itself!
Our Superior Room was large (by European standards), very clean, and tastefully decorated with minimalist old-world charm, but the best thing about it was the amazing view of the ocean and city!
Breakfast is included in your stay and can be served on your balcony at no extra charge, or in their beautiful Terrace Restaurant, which also serves lunch, dinner, and drinks.
Accommodation In Positano
3) Visit Santa Maria Church
The Church of Santa Maria or in Italian “Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta” is a picturesque, catholic church located just a stone’s throw from the beach, in the heart of Positano.
It is free to enter, and it is worth visiting just to experience the spiritual calm that comes with taking a few minutes out of your day to sit in silence and reflect on how lucky you are to be in such a beautiful spot on earth.
Santa Maria Church is open from 8 am to 12 pm and from 4 pm to 8 pm daily.
4) Day Trip To Amalfi Or Capri
There are tons of ferry options to choose from and ferries leave from Positano to Capri at least once per hour every day. You can check out this ferry schedule to figure out what time works best for you, and book your ticket in advance.
The cost is about €19-22 each way from Positano to Capri, or €8-10 each way for Positano to Amalfi.
5) Hike The Path Of The Gods
The Path of the Gods or in Italian, “Sentiero Degli Dei,” is a spectacular walking trail on the Amalfi Coast that ends in Nocelle, above Positano.
The path is almost 5 miles and takes about 3 hours, but it is an easy trail to hike if you walk from Agerola to Nocelle as the route, in this direction, runs downhill with magnificent views of the Amalfi Coast and the island of Capri.
If you’d like to have a guide to show you the way, you can book this Path of the Gods Guided Hiking Tour!
6) Rent A Scooter
The roads are curvy, narrow, and a bit scary to drive on in a car so my husband and I did not attempt renting a scooter. But many people rent scooters in Positano and this is a fun and affordable way to get around – just be extra careful!
You can expect to pay about €65 for one day, but if you rent a scooter for a week or more the price goes down significantly and will be around €300 in total.
I have not used this company so I can not vouch for their reliability but Positano scooter rental looks like a good company to try.
If you want to go with a group tour on a scooter instead of going on your own, you can book a Full Day Vespa Scooter Tour.
7) Visit Positano’s Art Galleries
If you love art, as I do, there are a handful of cute, little art galleries in the city center that you can check out.
When you are wandering around the streets of Positano make sure you visit some of them.
Most of the art galleries in Positano open around 10 am and stay open till sunset. But Italians are known for taking long work breaks in the afternoon to have lunch (with the wine of course!) or to nap, so you might find some of the art galleries closed for part of the day.
Positano is very small so if you come upon a gallery you want to visit that is closed just circle back later and it will likely be open again.
8) Shop In Positano
In the village center, there are tons of cute clothing boutiques, ceramic shops, souvenir shops, and art galleries.
Crochet and white linen dresses, tops, and pants can be found everywhere as well as lemon candy, lemon soap, lemon-scented perfume, limoncello, and pretty much anything lemon flavored you could possibly want!
9) Explore The Grottos
There are a handful of grottos near Positano, including the green grotto, white grotto, and emerald grotto, which are said to be beautiful and can easily be reached by private boat or group tour.
This 2 hour private tour leaving from Positano will take you to see the Tras e Iesc caves near Praiano, the Africana Grotto, and the Emerald Grotto. The boat trip is in a small rubber boat making access to the caves easy, allowing you to explore and take in their beauty. At the Africana Grotto you will have the opportunity to take a dip into the beautiful waters.
10) Take Amazing Photos In Positano
Positano is every photographer and travel blogger’s dream! Around every corner, there is a new picturesque setting that will have you pulling out your camera.
It is hard to take a bad photo of this gorgeous little town, but the best vantage point to capture the city and ocean is from La Sirenuse or Hotel Marincanto, which are the only two hotels that have this view!
If you are not staying at either don’t worry. You can still snap great photos from the road or the beach.
11) Eat Fantastic Italian Food
There are tons of great restaurants in Positano, but I recommend trying La Tagliata (located up in the mountains) for dinner one night. The amount of food (and wine) you get for the price is insane, and the food is excellent!
For a romantic fine dining experience, you must try Rada Restaurant. It is on the water, built into a cliff literally underneath Hotel Marincanto, so to get to dinner you can walk straight down the beach path.
12) Find Good Positano Pizza
Finding good pizza is an important activity in my opinion because you can’t go to Italy without dedicating at least one meal for pizza.
For delicious pizza in Positano try Capricci, which is located in the center of town near the church. This pizza place is budget-friendly and offers the perfect place to people watch with a view of the ocean!
13) Try Lemon Sorbet
Did you know that during wedding banquets in Italy a glass of lemon sorbet is often served before and between the fish and meat dishes? Enjoying sorbet in Italy is a must!
After you have pizza, head next door to Covo Dei Saraceni Hotel for amazing lemon sorbet served inside a whole frozen lemon! Yum!
14) Tan And Swim
The beach in Positano is pristine and beautiful! So what better way to spend an afternoon than tanning and swimming on the Amalfi Coast?
You can lie out on the beach or grab any of the open beach chairs, which are €10 each.
15) Drink Rose On The Beach
Within a few minutes, a beach boy will come to your beach chair to take your food and drink order – rosé, please!
If you are reading this and thinking drinking rosé on the beach is not an activity, then you and I could probably never become good friends.
My #1 favorite thing to do (besides surfing) is drinking rosé on the beach, and Positano provides the perfect place to spend hours doing nothing but this. Relaxation found.
16) Dance The Night Away
Enjoy a nightcap or dance the night away at Music On The Rocks, which is a nightclub under Rada Restaurant, inside a cliff. It is the only nightclub for miles around, and it looks and feels like an actual cave!
17) Paddleboard Or Kayak
Paddleboarding or kayaking is a great way to get some exercise and see the coast, and there are several rental shops on the beach in Positano.
The cost of a kayak or paddleboard from one of the beach rental shops is about €15 per hour, but check around to get the best price. And if water sports are not your thing you can try a Positano Sightseeing Bike Tour.
18) Rent A Boat
Positano is the perfect place to rent a boat for the day. The Amalfi Coast is one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world and what better way to enjoy it than by spending an afternoon boating along the shore.
You can rent a boat for as little as €180 a day from Amalfi Coast Rental Company or you can book one of the full day Boat Tours that leave from Positano.
19) Snorkel Or Scuba Dive
Positano is a great place to snorkel or scuba dive. A series of quiet coves and grottos can be found along the coast of Amalfi, Sorrento, and Capri Island, and the clarity of the water is said to be fantastic!
You can book a snorkel tour for around $90. You will board a traditional Amalfitan Gozzo boat and head towards Saint Andrew Grotto, this a huge natural sea cave full of stalactites. Then you will pass Duoglio and Santa Croce beaches to take a stop by the “Arc of Lovers”, a natural rock arch that is said to look like two elephants in the act of kissing!
Throughout the tour there will be plenty of opportunities to snorkel and swim, as well as see famous spots along the Amalfi Coast, Positano and Capri.
20) Take In The View
Sometimes you need to just sit back, relax, and take in the view, and what better place to do it than one of the most picturesque towns in the world?
My favorite views of Positano are from Hotel Marincanto, but you can enjoy amazing views from many of the following viewpoints in Positano:
- Walking along the Spiaggia Grande beach
- The bar at Le Sirenuse
- From the Path of the Gods hiking path
21) Try Limoncello
Positano is famous for its large, fragrant Sorrento lemons which make excellent Limoncello. Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy.
Limoncello is the second most popular liqueur in Italy and is traditionally served chilled as an after-dinner digestive. Sometimes in Positano it is served in chilled ceramic Capodimonte cup.
While in Positano, trying Limoncello is a must!
22) Sunset Cruise
Positano is one of the most romantic cities in the world and nothing says romance like a sunset cruise. You can book this Sunset Cruise Tour and enjoy dusk at sea on then Amalfi Coast as you sip Prosecco and limoncello while the sunset paints the sky.
During this sunset cruise you’ll also enjoy soft drinks and snacks and capture pictures of the Amalfi Coast town of Positano from the water. You can choose from a private tour for a group of 4, 6, or 8 people.
23) Take A Cooking Class
There are several good cooking classes in Positano. The Positano Pizza Experience is a great class to take if you love pizza! And Donna Rosa Kitchen School is a great option if you want to learn how to whip up some Italian specialties.
Or you can sign up for this cooking class tour! During this tour you will explore the vibrant local markets, and take a private cooking class in a local home with a certified home cook. You will learn how to prepare local dishes and you’ll get to taste everything you’ve made afterwards with wine included!
24) Visit The Pompeii Ruins
The Pompeii archeological ruins are an UNESCO World Heritage Site. On this Pompeii Ruins Guided Tour you will visit the archaeological site of Pompeii on a day trip from Positano. You’ll follow your knowledgeable archaeological guide and discover the secrets of life in Roman times.
Pompeii is a vast archaeological site in southern Italy’s Campania region, near the coast of the Bay of Naples. Once a thriving and sophisticated Roman city, Pompeii was buried under meters of ash and pumice after the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D.
The preserved site features excavated ruins of streets and houses that visitors can freely explore. During this your you’ll discover why the Pompeii archeological ruins are designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
25) Take A Nap
I’m Italian. My grandma was from Pallo del Colle, just outside of Bari, and my grandfather was from Sicily. Also known as riposo (rest), naps are a big part of the Italian culture.
This rest, or break, is usually taken between 2pm and 5pm during the hottest part of the day, and is dedicated to quiet leisure and napping. This tradition is taken so seriously in some communities, that businesses are often closed during these hours.
When in Positano, embrace Italian culture and carve out a couple hours of quiet time in the afternoon to rest, nap, relax and reflect on the fact that you are in of the prettiest places on earth. Paradise found.
Where To Stay In Positano
As I mentioned my favorite place to stay in the city is at the Hotel Marincanto, but there are plenty of other hotel options to choose from that are all charming and unique.
Popular Hotels In Positano
- Le Sirenuse One of Positanos best hotels, Le Sirenuse features an oyster bar, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and elegant rooms all with a private balcony. You are just 650 feet from the beach, but if you want to stay for the day at the hotel you can enjoy the swimming pool and hammam.
- Il San Pietro di Positano This luxurious 5-star hotel features elegantly furnished rooms, each with a terrace and sea views. The hotel also has a private beach, a fitness studio (although who wants to work out when they are in Positano?!) and a Michelin-starred restaurant.
- Casa Buonocore Situated just a 5-minute walk from the sandy beach and crystal-clear water on the Costiera Amalfitana coast, the Casa Buonocore hotel is the perfect place to base yourself during your Positano trip.
- Palazzo Murat If you enjoy staying in historical buildings then this elegant 18th-century building turned hotel is for you! Surrounded by landscaped grounds, the hotel offers guests panoramic views of the village and quick access to the beach just 800 feet away.
- Villa Yiara Another 18th century building, but this time adults only. The hotel fits in well with the local lemon theme as its décor is all yellow and white. Each room has a sea-view terrace overlooking the bay of Positano.
- We recommend booking your hotels on Booking.com to get the best rate and many hotels offer free cancellation in case your plans change. Find hotels in Positano
The Best AirBnBs and Vacation Rentals in Positano
AirBnB is also a great option in Positano with lots of different options for all price ranges. For some of our favorites, you can read our guide to the Best AirBNBs in Positano.
What To Pack For A Trip To Positano
When you visit Positano and the Amalfi Coast you are headed straight to the land of lemons, so of course you want to dress to fit in with the location! Europeans tend to be very casually smart, for example you will find guys wearing a pair of fun swimming trunks from Villebrequin or Orlebar Brown together with a slim fit linen shirt.
For the girls wearing a flowing lemon patterned dress, or simple white chic beach cover up is the way to go. I have rounded up some of my favorite dresses and swimwear for you to pack for your trip to Positano.
Travel Books and Guide Books For The Amalfi Coast
Tours In and Around Positano
This list gives you plenty of things to do both active and relaxed (as it should be when visiting Italy!), but if having a guide to show you around the city is more your speed I have rounded up some unique tours you can join in Positano and tours to Positano from surrounding areas on the Amalfi Coast.
- Positano and Capri Private Boat Tour This private tour gives you spectacular views along the Amalfi Coast and time to explore the beautiful island of Capri. Along the way you will get to stop at some of the grottos I mentioned earlier that are a highlight in Amalfi. You will also see the lighthouse of Punta Carena and take some great photos at the Faraglioni Rocks.
- Ravello, Amalfi, Positano, & Sorrento Day Tour Leaving from Naples or Salerno, on this private group tour you will get to see the best of the Amalfi. Including a scenic drive Chiunzi Pass, a walk though the quaint Medieval streets of Ravello, time to explore the ancient Marine Republic of Amalfi and a visit the 11th century Cathedral of Sant’Andrea.
- Ruins of Pompeii & the Amalfi Coast: Full-Day Private Tour This tour takes you on an incredible trip to visit the ruins of Pompeii. Where you will see the city petrified by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. After your visit to Pompeii you will enjoy a scenic drive along Amalfi Coast, with stops at in Positano and Amalfi.
WHAT TO KNOW FOR VISITING ITALY
Italy is part of the European Schengen zone, which typically provides 90 days of free entry every 180 days to visitors from many countries. This means you can enter Italy and travel between other European countries for up to 90 days per stay.
Be sure to check the EU Schengen website for the latest information for your specific country.
The currency used in Italy is the Euro (EUR). The current exchange rate is approximately 1 EUR to 1.10 USD. You can check the latest EUR exchange rate on Google.
While traveling, our number one tip is to use a free Charles Schwab Debit Card which gives unlimited worldwide ATM Fee Refunds and the true exchange rate.
BEST TIME TO VISIT ITALY
The best time to visit Italy is during the dry season between April and October. July and August can be very crowded, so we prefer the shoulder months of April, May, September, and October.
BEST BOOKS ABOUT ITALY
Read more about Italy before you go! Some of the best books about Italy are:
WHAT POWER ADAPTERS DO YOU NEED
Italy uses standard 2 prong Type C adapters also commonly used throughout Europe.
You can buy a universal adapter that will work in any country and has extra ports for USB cables to charge your phone and other devices.
We also always travel with a portable battery pack which is great to keep your phone charged on long journies.
TRANSPORTATION IN ITALY
- Public Transportation: Italy has extensive public transportation by both bus and train. The high speed trains are particularly good, but make sure to book your tickets in advance to get the best price.
- Rental Cars: If you want flexibility, we recommend renting a car at the airport. This provides the easiest way to see certain beaches and landmarks.
- Uber: Uber is sometimes available in Italy, though it depends on the area (mostly in Rome or Milan). However, the rules are constantly changing about Uber in Italy due to the strict permits that are required for drivers to offer rides. Metered taxis are readily available.
Our top recommended travel insurance companies for Italy are:
- World Nomads: Comprehensive coverage for medical, travel delays, and electronics.
- SafetyWing: Cheaper monthly coverage primarily for medical, starting at $37 for 4 weeks of coverage.
For more information, read our article on why you need to book travel insurance for your next trip!
MORE ARTICLES ABOUT ITALY
- The 7 Best AirBnBs In Positano
- A Complete Expat’s Guide to the Amalfi Coast, Italy
- 7 Reasons To Add Lago Di Braies To Your Next Italian Getaway
- Visiting The Cascate Del Mulino Hot Springs
- 10 Essential Things To Do In Capri
- The Best Of Northern Italy In 4 Days
- 10 Reasons Genoa Should Be On Your Bucketlist
- 6 Tips To Make The Most Of A Trip To Florence
- The 5 Most Romantic Things To Do In Venice
- 10 Things You Must Do With Your Girlfriends In Florence
Positano is full of incredible views around every turn. What are your favorite things to do in Positano? Let me know in the comments below. Enjoy!
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