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If you are wanting to vacation in the Amalfi Coast, Positano is likely high on your list of cities to visit. Everyone tells you how drop-dead gorgeous it is, but what they don’t tell you is staying here can sometimes come at a price. (And no, I’m not just talking about the price of the rooms, which are typically high AF, btw.) Figuring out where and how to stay in Positano can be challenging, so I wrote this blog post to provide you some insight.

When I stayed in the Amalfi Coast, I booked a room in Sorrento for the week…but after my first visit to Positano, I knew I had to stay there at least one night. In this post, I will tell you how and why I recommend that you do the same. Jump to my hotel recommendation and how I recommend staying in Positano here!

Positano, Italy
Positano, Italy

This post is written for anyone who wants to stay in Positano at least one night on their trip. I will go over the pros and cons of staying here, your transportation options, and how I recommend staying here at the end. Regardless if you stay for 1 night or the whole week, this post will tell you everything you need to know about staying Positano on the Amalfi Coast.

Why Stay in Positano?

Pros of Staying in Positano

The main reason people want to stay in Positano is that it’s absolutely beautiful. It’s arguably the #1 place that people vacationing to the Amalfi Coast want to visit, and if you want to see it so bad, you might as well stay there.

Another pro of staying here is that it’s towards the center of the Amalfi Coast, making it in close proximity to some of the other towns. Ferry and bus rides will take less time if you’re starting from Positano.

Cons of Staying in Positano

The problem with staying in Positano for your entire Amalfi Coast trip is that Positano is expensiveeee. Many of the rooms I saw were $450+/night. And when you’re going to be there for a week…damn. There’s a reason Jay-Z raps about this place…because he’s probably the only one that can afford to stay here for this long.

Since Positano is gorgeous, it is also incredibly touristy and crowded. You will need to get places via the SITA bus or ferry, and sometimes, the lines will be so long that you will end up waiting hours for transportation (this goes for anywhere in the Amalfi Coast, but Positano is arguably the worst offender).

Finally, another major con about staying in Positano is that arriving there isn’t always easy, as I will talk about later on in this post.

The Main Reason I Recommend Staying (at Least One Night) in Positano

Positano is stunning any time of day, but there’s something about watching the sunset over the cliffs of this town and seeing the city light up at night that just sends me. The problem with this – if you’re staying somewhere else – is that the ferries and the buses don’t always run late.

I visited the Amalfi Coast in May, and was devastated to learn that the last bus was leaving at 7:30pm and the last ferry was leaving at 6:00pm. The sun sets in Positano around 8:20pm. You also need to get to the ferry and especially the bus stop early if you want a chance at getting on; otherwise, you’ll be stuck paying a lot of money for a taxi.

  • Pro Tip: It’s possible that during peak tourist season, the buses/ferries will run later, so you will not have this issue. Make sure you double check the times with the SITA bus drivers. Online, it said the last bus was at 10:30pm, but when I asked the driver, he confirmed the last bus was actually at 7:30!
  • (Another) Pro Tip: The Amalfi Coast has NO Uber or Lyft drivers.

Unless the buses/ferries are running later, you won’t get to enjoy dinner, nightlife, or a sunset aperitivo in Positano unless you stay there.

Positano, Italy
I mean, you have to see it at sunset, right? Right.

How to Get to Positano

To understand why staying in Positano is sometimes difficult, you need to know how to get there in the first place. The main purpose of this section is to make you aware that while Positano is beautiful, getting there can sometimes be a pain.

Flying into Naples

To get to the Amalfi Coast, most people fly into Naples and find transportation from there to where they want to go. The problem with Positano is that it’s difficult to find a direct route there from Naples…and sometimes, the direct routes don’t even pan out. I met some friends who booked a ferry that was supposed to take them straight from Naples to Positano, but it ended up stopping in Sorrento.

Getting to Positano usually requires you to fly into Naples and take either a bus or train to Sorrento or Salerno, and then take the SITA bus or a ferry to Positano.

You can also take a taxi or hire a personal driver, but taxis on the Amalfi Coast are expensive (and I don’t even want to think about how much a personal driver would cost…).

Taking the Ferry to Positano from Sorrento or Salerno

Quite simply, the ferry is your best option because it can accommodate the most people (not to mention luggage). This means you won’t be fighting with crowds to try and drag your stuff on the SITA bus.

The downside to the ferry is that the Amalfi Coast is a hugely popular destination, and ferries only run to certain cities at certain times of the day. Your best bet will be to book a ferry in advance. There are multiple different ferry companies to choose from, and they all have different departure times. Make sure you give yourself enough time in case you arrive to Sorrento or Salerno late.

If you don’t pre-book, be aware there will likely be a long line at the ticket station. When I was there, I heard about people waiting in line to get tickets for the next ferry only to find that it was sold out and they had to be put on the later ferry, which was leaving 3-4 hours from now. Sighhh

…Still beats taking the bus tho.

Taking the SITA Bus to Positano from Sorrento or Salerno

The bus that drives around the Amalfi Coast and takes people from town to town is known as the SITA bus. When you arrive in Sorrento or Salerno, you can get on this bus to get to Positano. However, the SITA bus is often so crowded that you may have a hard time getting on. There were times I spent hours standing at the bus stop, waiting for a bus to come that wasn’t full.

The photo below is an example of what the line at the bus stop looks like.

The line at the bus stop in Positano

Now…imagine having a 50+ pound suitcase, a backpack, and/or a tote bag full of stuff with you to also try and stuff onto the bus.

Bye Felicia. In other words, take the ferry.

Getting to Your Hotel in Positano

Once you arrive in Positano, the real fun starts. By this, I mean preparing to drag your suitcase up 500 steps (and no, I’m not exaggerating). If you are anything like me, your suitcase always flirts with the 50 pound airline limit. Get yourself a personal trainer, a gym membership, or at least start doing pushups about a month before you go. You’ll thank me.

The reason that you have to drag your stuff up steps is because Positano – like most of the Amalfi Coast – is essentially built on a hill. There aren’t roads in between a lot of the hotels, shops, and restaurants big enough to drive a car through. Therefore, you will likely have to drag your stuff up a lot of steps no matter if you get to Positano via ferry, bus, or taxi.

  • Pro Tip: If you take the ferry, you will probably have more steps climb to get to your hotel. The bus – although more of a hot mess overall – will likely make for an easier climb since it will let you out on the road.
Steps in Positano, Italy
Steps in Positano, Italy
Steps in Positano, Italy

My Positano Hotel Recommendation

I stayed in the hotel below and recommend it to everyone for: 1. The convenience, 2. The views, 3. The location, and 4. The price. If you get to Positano via the ferry port, you will not have to drag your stuff up *quite* as many steps to get here. You will have to fight with cobblestone streets and a decent amount of hills, but after talking to other travelers, I think they had it waaay worse than I did.

The bus will drop you off even closer to this location, but there are 3 bus stops in Positano, and you have to make sure you’re getting off at the right one. You want to get off at the bus stop near Franco’s bar. Honestly, I would still drag my stuff up the steps before I’d take the bus.

(“Wait…I thought you said you stayed in Sorrento at the beginning of this post?” I did. I did BOTH. Keep reading…)

Hotel recommendation
Positano, Italy

Villa Maria Antonietta

  • Incredible view of the city
  • Less expensive than a lot of other Amalfi Coast properties
  • Great location (you’ll still have steps, but not as many as you would if you were staying higher up in the city)

How I Recommend Staying in Positano

When people tell me they are visiting the Amalfi Coast for a few days and would like to stay in Positano, I first make sure they are aware that: 1. It’ll be expensive, and 2. It may be difficult to get there. I say this mainly because I want them to know what they’re in for so they have realistic expectations on their journey.

If I find that people don’t want to deal with the hassle but also low-key still want to stay in Positano, I often suggest booking a hotel in Sorrento or Salerno and then booking one night in Positano after they get there.

This is what I did, and I’m SO GRATEFUL I did it this way! I was able to see the sunset, eat dinner, and get gorgeous views of the city lit up at night from my hotel room. I didn’t have to rush around or worry or drag my massive suitcase up a ton of steps. Instead, the night before I left for Positano, I threw a few things in my backpack so that’s all I would need to carry on the ferry/bus and up the steps and hills.

View from my hotel in Positano

You might be thinking, “isn’t it more expensive to book TWO hotel rooms?” Well, sort of. It’s definitely cheaper than staying in Positano the whole time. I always book my hotel rooms in advance, so my room in Sorrento was paid for a month before I even arrived. For me, spending an extra $290 to stay in Positano for a night was 100% worth it.

Out of all the places I visited on the Amalfi Coast, I thought Positano was the most beautiful, magical city…and we all know I deny myself nothing if I can help it. It was a treat yo’self moment, but also a reasonable one, considering how much places in Positano usually cost!

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