Travel to the Amalfi Coast, Italy

It's almost summer and its time to start planning your next dream vacation. Last summer, Sundaze Bikinis owner, Taylor Ditty, embarked on an Italian summer trip to the Amalfi coast that was straight out of a pinterest board. She's here to give her top tips and tricks on how to navigate the enchanting towns of the Amalfi coast. She wants to help plan your Italian summer vacation so that you can spend less time sweating the details and more time sipping on Aperol Spritz's.
Hi, I'm Taylor and last year I was able to take my dream trip to the Amalfi coast. This was my second trip to these small, picturesque, seaside towns and I can honestly say that the Amalfi coast is one of my favorite places. That being said, there are definitely some tips that will help you make the most of your time. 
How to get there
Most people traveling the Amalfi coast will be taking a plane into the Naples international airport. From there you have 3 main ways to get to your destination. 
-By Taxi
-By Ferry
-By Train/Bus
As I said before, this was our second trip to the Amalfi coast and we definitely lived and learned. The first time, we took the train from Naples to Sorrento and then the city bus from Salerno to Maori. While this is by far the cheapest option, it is probably one of the most chaotic as the public buses are hot, crowded, and travel down a tiny winding road along the coast. 
This trip we knew better and had planned on taking the ferry from Naples to Positano. Our one way ferry fare cost about 35 euros (one way for one person) but our flight arrived later than expected and we ended up missing our ferry. This was a blessing in disguise because we would've had to take a taxi to the ferry, then ferry to Positano, and then haul all of our luggage up hundreds of stairs to our hotel, because the entire town is on a cliffside. 
We ended up going to the official taxi stand outside the airport and hiring a taxi driver for 160 euros one way for two people (don't let the people in and around the lobby harass you for a taxi. Only use the official taxi stand as it is regulated and safer).  Although this was much pricier than the ferry, it was so much easier, air conditioned, and the taxi driver dropped all of our luggage off directly outside of the lobby of the hotel. Pro tip: Book a taxi in advance through your hotel and make sure you have euros on hand to pay for the taxi. All of the taxis we booked through the hotels were nicer and cost the same amount or less than the taxis at the airport. Positano is the second closest Amalfi coast town to Naples and it took about and hour and a half with traffic to arrive in the center of Positano. 
Where to Stay
There are 13 towns of the Amalfi coast, each with their own charm. Some of the towns are tiny villages, some are bigger with more tourists and restaurants, some are on the water and some are not. The 3 main towns that people stay in are Positano, Amalfi, and Sorrento. My favorite, and #1 tip is to stay in is Positano. 
Positano is probably what you imagine when you think of the Amalfi coast. It is a small, picturesque town with colored hotels lining a steep mountainside. The town is mostly pedestrian with small winding pathways through flowers, shops and restaurants. Positano is the most popular town to visit and also the most expensive to stay in.
Despite Positano being the most expensive town, you can still find a range of prices from $100 to thousands of dollars per night. The most ideal location in my option is any of the hotels between the waterfront and the road "via Christophoro Columbo". Anything above that street will probably be more budget friendly, but you will be hiking a lot more stairs to get down to the beach, ferry, and restaurants. Positano is the most popular Amalfi coast town to visit, and because of that, each day thousands of tourists flock in to experience the views. During the day the streets, restaurants can be very stressful, crowded, hot, and claustrophobic, but most of these tourists are actually coming from other areas and using the public transportation. This means that before the first ferry and bus arrive in the morning, the town is empty, quiet, beautiful and peaceful. Around sunset, most people are leaving and the town becomes quiet and serene again. When we stayed in Positano we would leave our room around 8am and wander around the town and grab coffee and when the first load of people would come in, we would be off on our adventures away from the town. Around sunset, we would come back and find a restaurant and we were able to get a table at the best restaurants in town without a problem.
-When booking stays, I have used google hotels, airbnb, and While there are pros and cons to all of these booking methods, my biggest tip is to read the reviews. Most of the time the reviews will let you know if the hotel is up to date, the staff is friendly, or if the hotel is hard to get to. 
What to do
-Cruise the Amalfi coast by boat:
You can book a private tour or a group tour starting at $30 through viator, trip advisor, or even the booths at the ferry dock. Most of the tours leave from Positano and Amalfi ports. This is a beautiful way to spend the afternoon and its easy to book online. During our trip, we did not book in advance and all of the smaller private boats were booked up.  We were able to book an 8 person private, half day tour for $600 in peak season at the Positano port booking stands and had the most fantastic time. This was my favorite experience of the entire trip. 
-Take a Cooking Class:
Want to take home more than just a souvenir. Learn the art to crafting authentic Italian food so you can eat yummy pasta whenever you want. The amalfi coast has so many authentic Italian cooking classes where you learn from a local how to make the best Italian food. You can find these in the more popular restaurants like Bucca Di Bacco, on Viator, or on trip advisor. Pro tip: Book in adance and opt for a cooking class in the town you are staying in for ease. 
-Day trip to Capri
Capri is a gorgeous island of the Amalfi coast that you can only get to by boat. Book a ferry from Positano for $15 each way and spend the day exploring the island. This is where you will find the iconic blue grotto. To get to the blue grotto you have to book a boat tour from the port of Capri either online or day of at the port. Keep in mind that they close the blue grotto often due to rough seas and high tides. Both times I have gone to Capri the grotto has been closed. Any boat tour around capri is still beautiful and some of the tours let you jump off and swim in the crystal clear water. 
-Lounge Like a VIP at a Beach Club
There are so many beach clubs in the Amalfi coast of varying price. The price usually comes with a beach lounger, umbrella and access to order food and drinks. I recommend booking these in advance because when we went, the nicer beach clubs were fully booked. The beach clubs to look into are: 
Go Dancing at Music on the Rocks
There is only two nightclubs in the entire Amalfi coast and one of them is in Positano. On the southern edge of the beach past the Rada restaurant you climb stairs into this night club built into the cliff. It starts around 11pm with DJs, neon lights, smoke machines and cocktails.  
How to get around
Rent a Car/Scooter for the day:
I would not recommend renting a car in the Amalfi coast under any circumstances. The roads are tiny, the driving is crazy, and just thinking about trying to find parking would give me a headache. If you really want to drive, its super fun to get a scooter for a day, but only if you have experience driving one. It cost us about $100 to book a 2 person scooter through our hotel. The scooter company dropped it off and picked it up right in front of our hotel which was very easy. You are required to have an international drivers license to drive in Italy. We were able to get ours very easy at our local AAA for $20 and showing our US drivers license. The driving is still crazy, but its much easier to park and its a fun experience for a day.
Book a Ferry:
You are able to take the ferry between Positano, Capril, Amalfi, Minori, and Maiori for 5-12 euros. The ferries mainly from between Positano and Amalfi so you might have to transfer ferries to reach the smaller towns. You can check the schedules and book on ferry hopper beforehand or in person at the docks. I recommend booking in adavance because the ferries do fill up and can get very crowded. If you are prone to seasickness, definitely bring Dramamine because the seas can get really rough and the ferrys move really fast. 
Ride the Bus:
The bus runs between all of the towns of the Amalfi coast and costs about 2.50 euros. You can check the schedule using the bus function on google maps to locate where to pick up and get off the bus. Just a heads up: The buses can get very hot and crowded. 
Where to Eat:
Bucca Di Bacco:
Our absolute favorite favorite restaurant. It was right in the middle of the beach on the beach walk. We had pizza and ravioli and they were both incredible. They also teach cooking classes here during the day.
Music on the Rocks:
Not a restaurant but a night club! Located at the far side of the beach past Rada beach bistrot. Club starts around 10/11 and parties late into the night with awesome DJs and good vibes.
Rada Beach Bistrot:
Cute tiny restaurant on the far side of the beach. Great to watch sunset and the food was really good.
Final Tips
1. Do go to Capri for the Day
2. Do book a beach club in advance if you want to spend any time at the beach. The public areas of the beach tend to be really really small and really crammed and there are beach clubs for every price range.
3. Don't expect the beach to be sandy. Most beaches were pebbles instead of Sand. 
4. Do book a boat cruise of the coast. They have so many different options from public to private and our private half day boat tour was the highlight of my trip.
5. Don't expect to be seated at a restaurant if you are wearing a bikini top + cover up (such as pants or a skirt). You most likely will get turned away because they expect real clothes for dinner service
6. Do expect the Amalfi coast to be touristy and crowded. Italy is one of the most visited countries in the world. These towns are vacation towns where people from all over the world come to vacation. The photos you see online are usually taken in the morning before the first buses and ferries arrive. The middle of the day is much more crowded, hot, chaotic and hectic.
7. Don't expect the Amalfi coast to be as cheap as the rest of Italy. You can still find cheap meals, but this is a vacation destination and the prices are more expensive than the rest of Italy
8. Do get your international drivers license before you leave for Europe if you are planning on renting a car or a moped. You can do this at your local AAA location for $20 + showing your U.S. drivers license. 
9. Don't rent a car. The streets are tiny, the traffic is insane, the parking is non existent and a car will be way much more of a headache than its worth.
10. Do expect to be doing a lot of walking especially up stairs and hills. Going on walks at home and getting in good shape before you leave for Europe will make this part much more enjoyable.
Finally be patient and have fun! Going to Italy, especially the Amalfi coast is such a beautiful experience and I hope you have the most amazing time!

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