Amalfi Coast or Puglia, which is better?

by Kelly

Wondering Amalfi Coast or Puglia, which is better? Well, we have visited both and can give an honest and clear comparison for you! Here we will compare each component and then give our opinion on them to help you make up your mind on where to go.

I’ll start with the obvious, both! But of course there isn’t always time or money enough to do this. Here are the areas broken down into components of a trip.

Where are they located and how big are they?

Puglia is quite big compared to the Amalfi Coast so there is a lot more distance to cover.

The Amalfi Coast is a strip of land right on the water. Technically it runs from the hills of Piano di Sorrento and ends in Vietri sul Mare near Salerno.

Puglia is a larger area, beginning in Marina di Chieuti and running all the way down the coast line to Santa Maria di Leuca.

Which is cheaper?

Puglia is much cheaper than the Amalfi Coast. Of course you can find bargains anywhere, but in general the cost of everything is higher in the Amalfi Coast. Lets break it down into categories:

Accommodation: Accommodation is much more expensive on the Amalfi Coast. In general budget would start at a much higher price than in Puglia, particularly in the more famous towns such as Positano or Amalfi. You can find real budget options if you are willing to stay further away in towns like Minori. In general Puglia will offer cheaper accommodation optiond right in the towns you want to visit.

As a rough example at the time of writing shows the cheapest option in Positano is 200 euro whereas in Ostuni it is 28 euro (on shoulder season travel date 10/10/23).

Food: Food is generally more expensive in the Amalfi Coast, yes you can find cheaper food anywhere but cheaper in comparison to where you are. In the Amalfi Coast gelato would usually start at around 3 or 4 euro per small scoop. In Puglia we found it starting at 2 euro.

Transport: Actually getting around on buses is priced pretty similarly, however it is much busier on the buses in the Amalfi Coast. You can rent a car to get around both which is nice to be able to go at your own pace. It is pretty similar in each location.

Which is busier?

Hands down the Amalfi Coast is busier than Puglia. The buses, the streets and restaurants were all heaving while Puglia is busy but just not as much.

Ease of getting around:

This really has to be compared on two different levels, private car and public transport.

Private hire car it is cheaper and easier to drive a car around Puglia than the Amalfi Coast without a doubt. The roads in the Amalfi Coast are tiny and really busy, it is possible but not very easy whereas Puglia makes for a great road trip

Public Transport – It is easier to get public transport in the Amalfi Coast. It is very well organised and although very busy with full buses, they are regular. Puglia has a great public transport system but it is not as well organised as the Amalfi Coast.


The landscapes are of course similar yet different! Landscapes of the Amalfi Coast are quite hilly with cute little towns on cliff edges and ocean views, very much located on the coast line with the landscapes being seascapes.

The landscapes of Puglia are varied, there are seaside towns with ocean views but most people will venture inland to the little towns of the Valle d’Itra. Lush green, grapevines and olive groves, it is very beautiful countryside. You will find whitewashed towns sitting on hills overlooking this expanse of green.

The towns:

The towns in the Amalfi Coast are beautiful, they are really elegant and stunning. Tiny buildings cascading down cliff faces looking toward the sea and little roads circling the cliffs along the waters edge.

Towns in Puglia are set up on a hill, they are constructed in circular styles with a church usually at the centre. The whitewashed towns glimmer in the light. Unique trulli houses dot the landscape that you can rent to stay in that are a real drawcard.


Food in Puglia:

The local foods in Puglia are a little more unique as well. You will find foods like:

Orecchiette: the local ‘little ears’ pasta, from Bari.

Focaccia: The thick bread often topped with cherry tomatoes or olives, from Polignano a Mare

Olive Oil: Grown and produced all over Puglia. You can do tastings and buy it to take home also, we got ours in Ostuni but will be everywhere throughout Puglia.

Locorotondo DOC: The local wine to Locorotondo, the grapes it is made from are considered rare. Made in Locorotondo.

Panzerotti: a pizza/calzone like food, delicious! We found them in Polignano a Mare mostly.

Bombette: stuffed meat rolls, a must in Cisternino. The little towns in the centre of Puglia, you’ll find the restaurants serving them also in Ostuni and Locorotondo.

Food in the Amalfi Coast:

Amalfi Coast is more famous for its local seafood and lemon dishes. You will find:

Caprese salad- from Capri, tomato and mozzarella salad

Spaghetti alle vongole – soaghetti with clams

Limoncello – a Lemon based spirit using Amalfi lemons

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina – a delicious tomato based gnocchi

Fresh fish and seafood such as Cuoppo d’ Amalfi which is a paper cup of flash fried fish and squid.

Delizia al limone – lemon dessert

Scialatielli ai Frutti di Mare – a fettucini like pasta with fish and squid.

The atmosphere:

The atmosphere in the Amalfi Coast is that of a more touristic area. There are definitely more people visiting and shops are mostly souvenir type stores. The prices are higher in general so it definitely feels more of a tourism type place. It is all quite small once you get into the towns as well so you do feel a little squeezed in.

The atmosphere in the Puglia region is a little more authentic and relaxed. There is more space so you are not so crowded and of course less tourists. The pricing is lower and you will find areas with unique stores selling locally made items.

Final thoughts:

I truly loved both areas, and both are really worth a visit, I always find it hard to choose!

I think the allure of the Amalfi Coast is in its unique beauty and those cliffside water views, while Puglia is enchanting in its authentic and undiscovered atmosphere. There is the feeling that not too much has changed in Puglia and that it still operates as it has before tourism, you can get a glimpse into the Italy that the locals know.

Is there an easier way?

If you want to make it super easy just check out these tours that includes everything from accommodation, transport and food! Tour from Bari to Lecce or this tour of Puglia and Matera!

Where to next:

Visit Locorotondo, the prettiest town in Puglia

Best 10 day Puglia Itinerary

Gluten free in Italy

A short guide to Cisternino the most charming town in Puglia

Amalfi Coast

Best things to do in Amalfi

How to visit Positano on a budget

How to plan a perfect day trip to Capri from Sorrento

Is 3 days in Sorrento Italy enough?

Our ultimate 5 day Itinerary for the Amalfi Coast

Positano Travel Guide: Is Positano worth visiting in 2023?

Why Casa Marino is the best accommodation in Sorrento!

Lake Como

How to travel Lake Como on a budget

Perfect Lake Como two day itinerary

Why you should go to Menaggio when visiting Lake Como

Hotel Garni Corona in Menaggio is your dream Lake Como stay!

Como city everything you need to know for your Lake Como trip

Sheraton Lake Como is the best place to stay for your perfect Lake Como trip!

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