Amalfi Coast is one of the most popular vacation destinations in southern Italy. With picturesque coastlines, interesting sights, azure-blue warm waters, and amazing food, this area is loved by tourists and holidaymakers alike.
One of the questions we get the most from our readers planning a trip to this beautiful area is where to stay on the Amalfi Coast.
Indeed, if this is your first time here, the choice between different towns and accommodations can be overwhelming. Also because you need to keep lots of things into account – the location of the town where you stay, transportation options, the season when you visit, whether your hotel is located high on the hill or by the sea, and – probably most important – what you plan to see and do while staying on the Amalfi Coast.
Thus this guide – to give you a better idea of what to expect. In this article, you can find information about the best towns to stay in Amalfi Coast, the advantages and disadvantages of each location, and tips to help you pick the right location and accommodation for your holiday. Find out!
Good to know: In order not to overwhelm you too much, in this guide, we only focus on the most popular towns to stay on the Amalfi Coast and nearby: Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, and Sorrento. These are the very best places to stay in the area (and there’s a good reason why they are popular).
Below, you can see an overview of the information and places covered in this guide. In addition to the town-specific info, be sure to read the ‘things to consider’ and ‘faq’ sections as well.
I also included a section with our experience and thoughts on whether it was a good choice.
Where to Stay in Amalfi Coast – OVERVIEW
Things to consider when deciding where to stay in Amalfi Coast
Further below, you can read about the best towns and hotels in Amalfi Coast, with more details about each.
However, before you start looking for specific accommodations, there are a few things you should consider:
- What you want to see and do. This is probably the most important factor that should influence where to stay on the Amalfi Coast. If you are here for a beach vacation and are mostly interested in swimming and beach bars, you’ll likely want to stay at a place like Positano or simply look for a really nice luxury hotel. Whereas if you are only interested in sightseeing, you may want to stay in Amalfi, or – if your sightseeing plans also include Pompeii, Mt Vesuvius, or Capri – Sorrento might be a better option, even though it’s not directly on the Amalfi Coast…
- How much time do you have. This is another important factor that might influence your decision on where to stay. If you are visiting the Amalfi Coast for just a day, you don’t have to stay here at all. If you have a few days in the area and want to see a lot, you’ll likely have different criteria for your accommodation than people who plan to spend a week here.
- The season when you travel. Visiting the Amalfi Coast in winter is a totally different experience than traveling in summer. In the high season, you’ll have good transport connections and great facilities everywhere, but it’s also crowded. Whereas in the low season, you may want to stay in a bigger town with good transport connections and where you can be sure to find nice places to eat, etc.
- How do you plan to get around. First, it’s really not the best idea to rent a car for the Amalfi Coast in the high season. You also have to be very careful where you drive or park since some areas are reserved for residents only. If you decide to come by car, be sure to look for a place that guarantees a parking spot for your car. And if you don’t rent a car but want to see a lot, you should stay at a place that has good transport connections (boat, bus, etc.).
- Location of your accommodation. Even when you choose a specific town to stay on the Amalfi Coast, you should pay lots of attention to the exact location of your hotel/ apartment. For example, if you stay on the hill in Positano, you’ll have to take lots of stairs down to the beach or the harbor. On the other hand, the bus to the other towns stops closer by and you might have better views from your window…
- Pool or beach access. Only very few hotels on Amalfi Coast have a pool or direct/easy access to a beach. So if this is important to you, your options will also be limited.
TIP: Once you decide on the town where to stay using our tips below, you can also use this accommodation map to compare the best hotel and self-catering lodging options in Amalfi Coast. Simply insert your travel dates, place, and group size, and you’ll see the best deals for your stay.
These are the best towns to stay on the Amalfi Coast:
|MAIN ADVANTAGES of staying in Positano:||MAIN DISADVANTAGES of staying in Positano:|
|* Amazing views||* Hilly (lots of stairs)|
|* Central location||* Expensive|
|* Beach, lively atmosphere||* Driving/ parking|
|* Harbor with good boat connections in high season|
Positano is probably one of the best towns to stay on Amalfi Coast. The main advantage is that Positano has a central location and good transport connections.
The public bus that connects all the main places on the Amalfi Coast has a few stops here. But the main plus is that there is a harbor from where – in high season – you can take a boat to places like Amalfi, Praiano, or Capri island. Traveling by boat is much faster and more comfortable than taking a bus.
In addition, Positano is also one of the most picturesque towns on the Amalfi Coast and it has a beach. However, keep in mind that beaches on the Amalfi Coast aren’t anything like the tropical beaches you might expect. These are black-sand rocky beaches, and the majority of them are really tiny. Positano beach is also rather small, but it’s one of the biggest ones in the area. However, the beach gets shade later in the afternoon (which can be a blessing when it’s very hot), but you won’t see the sunset from here.
Another reason to stay in Positano is that it’s one of the liveliest towns on the Amalfi Coast, with lots of nice restaurants.
However, there are also some disadvantages of staying in Positano. First, it’s built on a hill, with the town center at the bottom, by the sea. So if you are staying higher up, be prepared to do lots of stairs. If you want to avoid this, stay as close to the harbor as possible.
Second, Positano is also one of the most popular towns to stay on the Amalfi Coast, and hotel and restaurant prices are among the highest in the area. Of course, there are options for various budgets, but it’s not a cheap place.
And finally, Positano is not a place for cars. There’s basically one main road that runs through town and it’s a narrow, one-way street. So once you turn into it, you have to drive all the way down to the center and then back up on the other side. This alone can take you half an hour, maybe even longer if it’s busy…
Also, while there are some car parkings in Positano, it’s really not advisable to come here by car. Parking spaces are limited, tiny, and expensive (prepare to pay 30-50 euros per day if you stay in town, or 6 euro/hour for the smallest cars). Even at these rates, you’ll be glad to find a spot. Locals told us they try not to touch their cars between late April and early October.
Where to stay in Positano
Now that we covered the main advantages and disadvantages of staying in Positano, here are some specific recommendations on where to stay.
We only share hotel suggestions here, but there are also lots of privately-rented accommodations as well. Just pay attention to the location and accessibility so that you know exactly what to expect before you book!
No matter if you are traveling for the beach or for sightseeing, if you don’t want to do lots of stairs, be sure to stay close to the main beach and the harbor. This is also the town center with lots of shops and restaurants.
On the other hand, if you don’t mind the stairs, staying higher up the hill will often give nicer views, a more local atmosphere, and it will likely be quieter. Also, if you stay really high on the hill far from the center, you might find cheaper accommodations. There’s also a small local bus that has lots of stops along the main loop road, so you can always take a bus to limit the number of stairs.
Here are some of the best hotels in Positano center:
€€€€€ Covo Dei Saraceni (This hotel has a pool and is very close to the sea and the harbor).
€€€€ Buca Di Bacco (Located right at the beach) or Hotel Marincanto (Located higher on the hill, but close to the bus and not too far from the beach/ harbor).
€€€ Hotel Savoia (Very central location, one of the best price-quality mid-budget options).
TIP: If you want to stay in Positano but are looking for more affordable options, you may also want to check airbnb-style apartments in the area. There are countless options, sometimes for lower budgets too. We stayed at this beautiful house with the most amazing views over Positano.
Ultimate luxury. The most expensive and most luxurious hotel directly on the Amalfi Coast is Il San Pietro di Positano, located a bit outside of Positano town. This is the place that every local guide and taxi driver will mention when passing by. If money isn’t an issue and you are looking for the best place to stay on the Amalfi Coast, this is it. And who cares that it’s located a bit further away from everything – you’ll never want to leave the hotel anyway.
|MAIN ADVANTAGES of staying in Amalfi:||MAIN DISADVANTAGES of staying in Amalfi:|
|* Big beach.||* Very busy during the day (groups).|
|* Good transport connections including harbor.||* Further away from places like Capri or Sorrento.|
|* Good location for visiting all the best places on the Amalfi Coast.||* Not as charming as Positano or Ravello.|
|* The town center is relatively flat.|
|* Cheaper than Positano.|
|* Easier to drive/park.|
Amalfi town is another popular place to stay on the Amalfi Coast. It’s a bigger town and serves also a bit as a main transport hub in the area. If you are planning to visit many smaller places on the Amalfi Coast and nearby, the buses usually leave from here.
For example, if you need to get to Bomerano for the start of the Path of Gods hike by public transport, you’d have to take a bus from Amalfi. Ravello town – one of the must-sees in the area – is also just a short bus ride from Amalfi.
Amalfi also has a harbor with good ferry connections to nearby places. There’s also a rather big beach here, one of the nicest on the Amalfi Coast. Also the adjacent town of Atrani is worth visiting, and there’s a nice beach there as well.
Another reason to stay in Amalfi vs Positano is that it is rather flat. So if you are staying in the town center, you don’t have to worry about doing hundreds of stairs every time you need to go somewhere. However, this only applies to the town itself. If you want to visit any of the nearby places like Valle delle Ferriere, Pontone, or Ravello on foot, be prepared for steep climbs.
Another advantage of staying in Amalfi is that you will find a much bigger choice of lower-midrange accommodations here. If you are visiting Amalfi Coast on a lower budget, you will find more affordable options in Amalfi town than e.g. in Positano.
If you are planning to visit the Amalfi Coast by car, Amalfi is probably one of the best places to stay as well. Driving and parking will be easier here (but I’d still leave the car at your accommodation when visiting places like Ravello or Positano).
One of the main disadvantages of staying in Amalfi is that the town is very popular with big tour groups, so it gets really busy during the day. It’s also not as charming as many other places on the Amalfi Coast.
And while Amalfi has an excellent location for sightseeing on the Amalfi Coast itself, it’s much further away from places like Capri, Sorrento, or Pompeii. So if you are planning to visit these during your stay, keep in mind that it will take you much longer to get there.
Where to stay in Amalfi
There are many accommodations along the main road/ seafront in the wide surroundings of Amalfi. However, if you don’t want to be close to everything without having to take a bus or walk far every time, stay as close to the town center as possible.
On the other hand, if you want to be just outside of all the hustle and bustle, stay just a little bit outside the center (but ideally, within 5-15 minutes walking distance to it).
Here are some of the best hotels in Amalfi for various budgets:
€€€€€ NH Collection Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi (The most luxurious hotel in Amalfi. Sea views, pool, just a bit outside of the town center).
€€€€ Hotel Marina Riviera (Sea views, pool, right next to the beach, amazing reviews).
€€€ Hotel Luna Convento (One of the nicest 4* hotels in Amalfi. Sea views, pool, and just a bit outside of the busiest area).
€€ Hotel Amalfi (One of the best-rated hotels on a lower-midrange budget).
€ Hotel Fontana (One of the most affordable hotels in town, although ‘budget’ is a relative term on the Amalfi Coast).
In addition to hotels, there are also lots of privately rented apartments in this area. When doing research for our stay, we considered these apartments for the great central location and views from the terrace.
|MAIN ADVANTAGES of staying in Ravello:||MAIN DISADVANTAGES of staying in Ravello:|
|* Charming town.||* Busy during the day (groups).|
|* Amazing views.||* Further away from everything.|
|* Quieter, more local feel in the evenings.|
|* There are cheaper accommodation options available.|
Sitting high on the cliffs and offering stunning vistas, Ravello is one of the most popular places to visit in the area. It’s also sometimes referred to as one of the most romantic places to stay on the Amalfi Coast.
Ravello is rather small and – once you get to town – it’s also quite flat. The town is very popular with tour groups and is very busy during the day. But staying here in the evening when all the day-trippers leave means that you can have this charming town all to yourselves.
On the other hand, Ravello’s more remote location means that it’s not the best place to stay if you are planning to do lots of sightseeing. You’ll have to take a bus or a taxi down to Amalfi in order to get to the beach or to visit other places on the Amalfi Coast.
But if you are looking for a more local feel and traditional charm, Ravello is one of the best places to stay in Amalfi Coast.
Where to stay in Ravello
Since Ravello sits high on a hill, it’s best to stay in the historic old town so that you don’t have to do too many stairs. Most hotels are indeed concentrated in this area.
You’ll find accommodation for all budgets here – from some of the most expensive luxury hotels on the Amalfi Coast to simple, lower-budget accommodations and everything in between.
Here are some of the best-rated Ravello hotels for all budgets:
€€€€€€€+ Caruso Belmond Hotel (One of the most luxurious hotels on the Amalfi Coast).
€€€€€ Hotel Villa Cimbrone (Famous for its gardens with Infinity Terrace that you can also visit even if not staying here).
€€€€ Villa Amore (One of the best-rated 4* hotels in Ravello).
€€€ Hotel Giordano (A popular mid-range budget option, with family rooms as well).
€€ Hotel Toro (A nice mid-budget hotel).
€ Casa Vacanze Vittoria (Very highly-rated lower/mid-range option).
And here you can find lots of private Airbnb-style rentals in and around Ravello.
|MAIN ADVANTAGES of staying in Sorrento:||MAIN DISADVANTAGES of staying in Sorrento:|
|* Good transport connections (bus, train, ferry, boat tours).||* Not directly on the Amalfi Coast.|
|* The best base location for sightseeing for Amalfi, Capri, Pompeii…||* Cliffside location, some places might have lots of stairs (although the center itself is flat).|
|* More choice of accommodations and restaurants.||* Not the nicest beaches.|
|* More flexibility in case of bad weather.||* Bigger town, busier.|
|* Better value for your money.|
While Sorrento is not located directly on the Amalfi Coast, it’s well worth considering staying here. This is especially the case if you want to explore more of the area without having to change hotels. Sorrento is the ideal base location for those who are mostly interested in sightseeing in the wider surroundings, beyond the Amalfi Coast.
Sorrento has good train connections to places like Naples, Pompeii, or Herculaneum. It also has a bigger harbor with regular ferry connections to the Amalfi Coast, Capri island, etc. The Amalfi Coast bus route also starts in Sorrento and there are lots of organized tours to all the popular places from here.
Furthermore, there are places where you can rent a scooter for a day. You can also hire a car in Sorrento, but I really don’t recommend it. We rented a car for a few days in early April and regretted it. The traffic was terrible and it took us forever to get anywhere and parking was hard to find and expensive. Locals told us it’s ten times worse in the summer…
Another advantage of staying in Sorrento is that you have more flexibility and can adjust where you go depending on the weather. This makes it a good base for those visiting the Amalfi Coast in the low or shoulder season, when the weather is more unpredictable.
What we also liked about Sorrento is that there are many really nice, local restaurants, many of which are much cheaper than restaurants on the Amalfi Coast. Also the accommodation prices here are lower and you can stay at a much nicer hotel for less compared to the best hotels in Amalfi Coast.
Of course, there are also some disadvantages of staying in Sorrento. First – if you are mostly interested in the Amalfi Coast itself – Sorrento is a bit far away. So you’ll always have to take a bus or a boat to the Amalfi Coast villages.
Sorrento is also a bigger town, much busier than any of the places on the Amalfi Coast. Depending on where your accommodation is located, you might have to walk for 10-30 minutes to get to the bus or train station or to the main harbor. Of course, there are also local buses and taxis available.
Sorrento is also built on a cliffside, so be sure to check where exactly your accommodation is located and how easy it will be to get to places. Keep in mind that the main harbor of Sorrento – Marina Piccola – is located down by the sea whereas the town center is at the top of the cliff. The best way to get from one to the other is by taking an elevator.
Where to stay in Sorrento
There are a few nice areas to stay in Sorrento. The most popular hotels are located in the town center and this area is convenient for sightseeing too since the bus/ train station is just nearby and the harbor can be reached by elevator.
Another place that’s really nice too is Marina Grande. This is a very small area concentrated around the old fishing harbor of Sorrento. There’s just one hotel here (Hotel Belmare) and a few privately-rented apartments, but it has a nice local atmosphere. There’s just one disadvantage of staying at Marina Grande – you’ll have to walk (or take a small local bus) to the town center from here every time you want to take a bus, a train, or a boat to the other places.
There are also hotels located high on the cliff above Marina Grande. Some of the nicest Sorrento hotels can be found here. For example, Hotel Belair is within 15-20 minutes walk from the center, and has direct access to Marina Grande via a staircase. So it’s the best of both worlds.
Here are some popular hotels in Sorrento town center for all budgets:
€€€€€ Bellevue Syrene (Amazing views, luxury 5* hotel).
€€€€ Imperial Hotel Tramontano (Amazing views, garden with a pool, a luxury 4* hotel).
€€€ Hotel Continental (Great location, sea views, pool…)
€€ Hotel Il Faro (Great location, sea views, a popular lower mid-budget option).
€ Ulisse Deluxe Hostel (A wonderful lower-budget hotel with private bathrooms, pool, etc.).
Also here, there’s a big choice of privately-rented apartments for all budgets. Be sure to look for a hotel/ apartment with sea views – it will make your vacation so much more memorable. This counts for all the places on the Amalfi Coast too.
We recently visited the Amalfi Coast as part of a two-week trip in the Naples area. We stayed in Positano for a few days and a few days in Sorrento (plus Capri and Naples, but these aren’t really part of this article).
Since we are traveling with three kids, most hotels weren’t really an option for us, so we rented 2-3 bedroom apartments. But – as far as location goes – below you can read about our experience, why we opted for these places, and what we would do differently next time.
TIP: If you don’t rent a car, you’ll need to take some transfers to your accommodation. After lots of research, we booked our airport transfers for the Amalfi Coast on the GetYourGuide website. They were much cheaper than anything else we found with the local companies directly.
Staying in Positano
In Positano, we stayed at this beautiful 3-bedroom house with stunning views. Located on the upper part of town, staying here meant that we had to do hundreds of stairs to get down to the town center or walk 5 minutes uphill in order to get to the main road for the Amalfi Coast bus.
While we absolutely loved the house and the stairs weren’t such a big deal for us, there were moments when we wished we had stayed lower, closer to the harbor. At least we were lucky that there was a small supermarket just nearby and that some of the best restaurants were located just a short walk down the stairs.
As for Positano town itself, it was very lively during the day and charming and rather quiet in the evening – perfect for us. However, we were here at the very start of the season and the place is incomparably busier in the summer.
When looking for a place to stay in Amalfi Coast, we compared Amalfi vs Positano and opted for the latter. While Amalfi would have been easier for sightseeing, Positano just looked more like a place that has everything you’d expect from a vacation on Amalfi Coast. It’s the most beautiful town of them all. If money and/or stairs aren’t an issue, this is the town where I recommend staying for everyone looking to experience the true Amalfi Coast, just as it looks in the postcards.
Staying in Sorrento
Sorrento is another great place to stay in this area. As already mentioned, if you are mainly interested in the Amalfi Coast itself, it’s probably not the best place to be. However, if you are looking for one centrally-located ‘base’ town for all your excursions in the area, Sorrento is really a good choice.
We stayed at this nice 2-bedroom apartment on Marina Grande. While the apartment is a bit simple, the location and the views couldn’t be beaten. We loved being in the quieter, more local part of town where you see the fishing boats return from the sea in the morning and fishermen mending their nets in the evening.
This area also has some of the best seafood restaurants in town. Many of them are really simple restaurants run by many generations of local families. They serve amazing no-thrills local food, some of the best of our whole trip. Our favorite restaurant here was O’ Puledrone.
The only disadvantage of staying in Marina Grande is that the town center is about 10-15 minutes walk away. But it’s a nice walk and it didn’t really bother us. Being away from the crowds and directly by the sea more than made up for it.
Sorrento has lots of luxury hotels with sea views and amazing pools, and if we would have been traveling in summer and without kids, I would have opted for one of those. TIP: For the best Sorento experience, I highly recommend looking for a hotel or an apartment with sea views. It makes your entire vacation so much more special!
Where to stay on Amalfi Coast – FAQ
If you are visiting the Amalfi Coast for the first time and want an ultimate Amalfi experience, stay in Positano. This beautiful cliffside town offers amazing views, a nice beach, lively atmosphere, and many nice options for shopping and dining. It also has good transport connections.
If you want to explore the Amalfi Coast to the fullest, stay in Amalfi town. This town has the best transport connections to all the other towns and villages, including a bus to Ravello and a boat to Positano. However, if you also want to visit Capri, Pompeii, or Mt Vesuvius – consider staying in Sorrento.
Amalfi Coast is not a budget destination, but there are some accommodation options for all budgets. With a lower budget, look for privately-rented accommodations in Amalfi or lesser-known towns nearby. Sorrento also has lots of lodging options, including cheaper, budget accommodations.
If you are not renting a car, stay in Positano or Amalfi. Both places have good transport connections. However, if you are traveling in the lower season when boats are not running, I’d opt for either Amalfi or Sorrento.
While we do not recommend visiting Amalfi Coast by car, one of the best towns to stay with a car is probably Amalfi. It’s not as hilly as others and has a few bigger car parking areas. However, be sure that your accommodation can guarantee a parking spot because you really cannot rely on finding one upon arrival.
When considering where to stay in Amalfi Coast with kids, be sure to pay attention to the accessibility of your accommodation. If you have young kids in a stroller, stay in Amalfi town or by the harbor in Positano. Sorrento can also be a good option for families – it really depends on the specific hotel/accommodation.
There are many luxury hotels all over the Amalfi Coast. So if budget is not an issue, you will really have no trouble finding a nice place to stay. Some of the most luxurious hotels are located along the coast near Positano and also in Ravello (see our suggestions above).
While the Amalfi Coast is a wonderful choice for those looking for an ultimate Amalfi experience, staying in Sorrento has many advantages too. Sorrento is a bigger town, not as crowded, and has a more local feel. It also has a better location for visiting places like Capri or Pompeii. Furthermore, hotel and restaurant prices in Sorrento are much lower than on the Amalfi Coast, and you can enjoy stunning sea views here as well.
While most tourists visit the Amalfi Coast for a day, we recommend at least 2-3 days in the area. This is purely for the Amalfi Coast itself, not including Capri, Sorrento, or other places nearby.
If you are visiting the Amalfi Coast in the low season (November to March), I recommend staying in Sorrento. The boats aren’t running and transport connections are easier from Sorrento. In addition, you have more flexibility to decide where to go each day depending on the weather. If it’s sunny, visit the Amalfi Coast, Capri, or Mt Vesuvius. Whereas if the weather is bad, you can always take a day trip to Naples, Herculaneum, or Pompeii…
So, this is our guide to the best places to stay on and near the Amalfi Coast. I hope that it gives you a better idea of what to expect and helps you find the perfect accommodation for your stay.
Have a great time on the Amalfi Coast!
TIP: Be sure to check our other guides that will help you make the most out of your vacation in this beautiful area:
- Amalfi Coast itinerary suggestions
- Sorrento to Capri: ferry info and day trip itinerary
- Where to Stay in Capri
- Best things to do in Naples
- Amalfi Coast or Cinque Terre (which one to visit and why)
If you found this post useful, don’t forget to bookmark it and share it with your friends. Are you on Pinterest? Pin these images!