Positano Travel Guide: Is Positano worth visiting in 2023?

by Kelly

Is Positano still worth visiting? Is it too touristy? What do you do in Positano? All the questions we had before visiting, let us help you out and answer them for you! Read on for everything you need to know before you go.

How to get to Positano?

This will depend on where you are coming from. If you are coming from further away you will need to split the journey up.

From Rome –

You can take a private transfer and I have heard many people take this option but it is quite expensive, this is a private transfer. Get Your Guide is a trusted partner and I would comfortably book through them.

You can also catch the train to Naples and then take a different train or bus to Sorrento or Positano.

From Naples –

There is a train from Naples to Sorrento, there are actually a couple of options. The Campania Express is a special train that follows the Circumvesuviana line between Naples and Sorrento, stopping at just a few stations and takes about half an hour. These trains have guaranteed seating, air conditioning, and space for luggage. If you are able to catch it then it does make it easier.

There is also another more public train that takes a little longer but is cheaper that takes this same route. I have heard reports that it is not as nice as the express. Unfortunately we landed at 11pm into Naples and neither of these options were available. We ended up staying the night in Naples and catching the train the next morning. We took the Circumvesuviana train early the next morning, this is the info for this train. Contrary to reports this was fine for us, it was early so may have made a difference but we didn’t have a problem. We were staying in Sorrento but if you were going on to Positano you can catch the bus or a transfer from Sorrento.

If you need to stay in Naples overnight before catching the train –

There is the option of a private or shared transfer, again I would check a few to see if you can find a cheaper price. This one from Get Your Guide is pretty affordable for a shared transfer.

Or if you are looking to stay in Naples the taxi from the airport into your accommodation is 25 euro and we were piled in to a share taxi with each person paying individually. We were shocked at this price but it was standard with all the taxis, we were able to talk him to 20 euro but it was really difficult. If you are looking for an excellent and safe accommodation in Naples for the night, check out Terrazza Garibaldi which is where we stayed. The host was very accommodating with our late arrival and provided a lovely clean room with everything we needed. It is located close to the train station so was easy to walk to in the morning. We had the best sleep here after a long travel day and there was even breakfast items provided for our early morning travel.

From Sorrento –

Catch the bus from Sorrento to Positano and costs about 3 euro each way. It is an interesting ride, you need to get there early to get a seat. The first time we caught it we were standing the whole way. The bus jerks around and you will need to hang on! The views along the way are pretty spectacular so make sure to get a window seat, choose the left side when you are going from Sorrento to Positano to be on the water side. This is the schedule.

Where to stay in Positano?

There are tons of lovely hotels in Positano and although we stayed in Sorrento and loved it, if I stayed in Positano I would stay at Hotel Poseidon. Most accommodations in Positano are pretty expensive, it will really pay to book early-even a year ahead if possible. The hotels here book out even though the prices are high.

These are my picks for Positano accommodation:

Budget: Casa Fortunata, Dimora del Podestà, Hotel Dimora Fornillo, La Casa di Nunzia B&B, Casa Lucibello, YourHome – Relais Il Sogno di Positano

Midrange: Hotel Casa Albertina, Villa La Tartana, Villa Yiara,

Luxe:Hotel Poseidon, Casa Positano, La Bizantina Luxury Villa, Casa Fioravante, La Caravella di Positano – Relais & Beach

If you are looking to stay in Sorrento you can catch the bus in each day and it is pretty simple. We stayed at Casa Marino and it was excellent! I really recommend it, perfect location, lovely hosts and great rooms!

Is Positano worth visiting?

I really wasn’t sure before I went if Positano was still worth visiting…was it overhyped? Was it too touristy? Does it still have the charm? Is it just too expensive for regular people? Let’s go through the answers to these questions-

Is Positano overhyped?

This will really depend on you! For me I would say no. It is the most picturesque little town I have ever been to! Every thing you see in photos is reality and it was almost surreal to be there! I loved the cute houses on the cliffs, lemon everything for sale everywhere and the incredible views, heck I even liked the black sand beach and I live on some of the best beaches in the world. What makes Positano so hyped up is exactly what makes it so good. I loved it and its perfect little world.

Mike on the other hand doesn’t like it. He had already been once before. For him it is everything he dislikes-expensive everything, too many tourists, being somewhere just because it is ‘the’ place to be….however….I think even the charm got to him this time! (or as I like to say, you will enjoy it more because you are with me!)

If you go into a place looking for negatives then you will only find them, look for the beauty and the positive!

Positano Views

Was it too touristy?

We were there in May and there was a lot of tourists. I think that there are so many people coming that you would have to go in winter (when most of it is closed) to avoid too many people. Having said that you can always find places that are less busy, The main streets and the beach front will always be busy as it is where most people will go. We were able to walk away from this area and enjoy other parts of the the town that were much less crowded and just as beautiful. It requires a little more effort walking up hill but it really is worth it. You can feel the more relaxed pace and take your time enjoying the beauty. The other option is to embrace the crowds. Yes there are a lot of people but they are all the same as you, there to enjoy the town. Look at it as you would if you went to a concert and you enjoy it more.

There are tons of shops selling the same lemon themed items but that is ok, it really is what the Amalfi Coast is all about. and pretty much iconic of the area. Go shopping buy a souvenir and you wont regret it. The lemon is to Amalfi Coast as the evil eye is to Greece, they are everywhere and they are fabulous!

Does Positano still have its charm?

Yes. You can not look at the little houses on the cliff face, the pretty umbrellas and the blue water and not think it is charming. It is just filled with more souvenirs and people. If you want to experience it more closely go early morning or later afternoon when day visitors have left and you will see it. Or go to the less crowded bits.

Is Positano just too expensive for regular people?

No, our motto is you can live cheap anywhere you go. This will depend on how you are travelling. If you are there on a one or two week holiday then you will be fine. Rooms can be expensive so the earlier you book the better (even a year out). You can stay at Sorrento which is cheaper or one of the tiny towns nearby but you will need a car or scooter to get around. There are affordable food options if you look for them and you can also bring or buy groceries to cook some meals for yourself if you have a kitchenette (most rooms have at least a mini fridge). You don’t have to eat and drink at the most exclusive restaurants and bars, keep it within your means and enjoy your time! If you are looking for how to affordable visit the Amalfi Coast then read our blog on Travel Positano on a Budget with how we did it. Remember everyone has a different meaning of affordable and you can scale it up or down as necessary.

Is it really as beautiful as the photos?

YES! I was shocked at how it was exactly how I had seen it in photos. It really was like walking in a dream. The colours and the scenery is all just as perfect as you have seen.

Are there any dos and don’ts for travel in Positano?

I was asked this the other day, I think people build it up into a place you can’t just visit like anywhere else. Some things I noticed were-

The fashion is everywhere, people dress up but you will also have the regular tourists in normal clothes, be you and you will be fine! It is hot and sweaty walking up and down the stairs and hills, make sure you are wearing something you can move in and your shoes are comfortable.

The stores selling lemon souvenirs do not allow photos inside at all. I was holding my phone and camera and was told off by a lady who thought I was filming ( I wasn’t) but make sure you don’t try it. I think it is to protect their designs maybe?

You will need a reservation at most of the sit down restaurants and bars, they will be full. Opting to eat early might help get in.

There is not a lot of shade, bring a hat or umbrella if you are coming on a day trip into town.

Okay that is all the questions I have so far! If you have any more just comment below or DM me on Instagram or Facebook and I will be happy to help answer them for you!

Best things to do in Positano

This is a big one and will largely depend on your budget. These are my favourite things…and what is on my list for next time!

Rent sunbeds on Marina Grande (Spiaggia Grande) Beach

This is the main beach in Positano, it has the most stunning view to the cliff face. Rent a sun bed and lounge on the beach. These can be expensive so you can choose from the most expensive first row or the cheaper back rows. You pay for a whole day so make sure to maximise your time!

Positano sunbeds at marina grande

Walk the streets and take in the charm

Positano is all about the views. You are there for the quaint little houses on the cliff faces, the umbrellas all lined up in front so drink it in. Walk the streets to find your favourite view and enjoy it. You will wish you did when you are home and back in routine! You can also take a walking tour with an experienced guide who will show you the town and its many features! This is the one I would choose it sounds perfect!

Eat and drink

Try all the different restaurants and enjoy then incredible food of Italy! There are some beautiful bars with incredible views as well where you can sit and enjoy aperitif. The most famous is Francos Bar. It is very trendy and has a beautiful view. Make sure to turn up at 5pm (or a little before) to jump in line. The line will grow dramatically with people waiting for a front row seat. Prices are a little expensive but worth it if you are chasing drinks (or a drink) and a view. Le Sirenuse also has a bar where you can order food. The service is excellent and while still pricey but the views are good!

Take a Vespa tour

I so wanted to hire a vespa and it is right on my list of what to do next trip! I can’t wait to update my blog after that but until then this is the tour I would pick!

The path of the gods

This walk can be strenuous but you can also just do sections. The full path is about 8km long and takes a few hours to complete. The views are worth the hard work but you would need to be visiting for a few days to devote the time to it. This website has all the information you need to hike the full path!

Go to Ravello

Catch the bus up to Ravello and walk around., you can take a walking tour like the one below if you would like to learn more!

Hire a boat or go for a boat tour

I really wanted to do this but all the boat hires were full up. Next time I will know to book more in advance! You can also take tours like the ones below. They can be expensive so make sure you check around. Seeing the town from the water looks amazing and I can’t wait to come back and do it!

Arenzio Beach Club

This is the cutest little beach club and I would love to go, am planning it for my next trip! Sadly I only found it on our last day. They have a complementary shuttle to their beach from the main beach, a great restaurant overlooking the water and sunbeds. I think it sounds like the perfect way to spend the day! Check it out here!

Souvenir shopping

There are tons of souvenir shops all full of lemon themed treasures. Find your favourite and take it home with you. It may not seem like it but you will regret it when you are home if you don’t!

I loved our time in Positano and it really made me want to return to see this beautiful place again and do the things I missed! If you want more information on the Amalfi Coast check out our blogs here. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments or DM me on Instagram @kelly___buckley or @passport_nomads and I will help as much as possible!

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Ve Ja L Manigault January 25, 2023 - 2:31 am

Positano is Beautiful!! Our daughter is getting married there is April, I am so excited ❣️

Passport Nomads
Kelly January 26, 2023 - 10:27 am

Isn’t it gorgeous! Oh how exciting, what a spectacular place to get married! Please let me know how it goes, I am sure it will be incredible!

Thomas Matthews April 24, 2023 - 5:11 am

Thanks guys. We’re just about to go to Imalfi and your post gave us a lot of amazing guidance and advice

Passport Nomads
Kelly April 24, 2023 - 6:10 am

I”m so glad it was helpful! Enjoy your time there, it is so beautiful.

Passport Nomads
Kelly August 1, 2023 - 1:04 pm

I’m glad it was helpful! Enjoy your time there!

Joan February 26, 2024 - 3:27 am

Hi ,
Thanks for the great article and all of the info! We have 6 night in May in Amalfi, and found a beautiful villa in Vietri del Mare, which is about 25 mins east of Ravello. So we are thinking of maybe staying there for 3 nights, and either Sorrento or Positano for the other 3 , bc we also want to do Capri of course. Please let me know what you think of this idea, and which you would stay at, Positano or Sorrento or even Amalfi. Thank you !

Kelly February 26, 2024 - 6:24 am

Hi Joan! It sounds like a wonderful trip! By staying in Sorrento you can easily catch the bus in to Positano and Amalfi each day but the buses are really busy and can fill up quickly. We found ourselves standing quite often. They are really easy to use though. If you stay in Sorrento check out the hotel we stayed in on my Sorrento blog, it was excellent. Sorrento has a lot more to offer in terms of restaurant options and it’s easier to get to Capri from here to as there’s loads of ferries.
If you can stay in Positano it’s right in the centre of everything, you bus to Amalfi from there or any of the other small towns. I intend to stay here on my next visit as I really want to soak up the vibe. You can take a ferry to Capri from here but it’s not quite as easy. It’s a choice between my head and heart! Head say’s Sorrento and the heart says Positano! Let me know what you decide, I’d love to hear about your trip


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