Positano offers the classic Amalfi Coast experience, and it’s arguably the face of the coast. Amalfi offers the same charming sights as Positano, though it’s a quieter town for relaxation.
As two of the coast’s most popular towns, it’s hard to figure out which one to choose. So below are each town’s unique draws to give, you, a better idea of which suits your trip best.
Positano is a picturesque city, with craggy cliffs, a cascade of pastel houses, and lush greenery all around. An enchanting town, Positano continues to exude a local charm and authenticity. This charming refuge is worth a trip and is one of the best towns on the Amalfi Coast.
What Makes Positano Unique?
Situated by the coast, Positano is a master at seafood dishes combined with exotic fruits and vegetables. And thanks to the protein-filled delicacies from the Lattari mountains, there are also tons to munch on for meat and cheese lovers too. Combined with long years of culinary refinement, Positano is a foodie’s paradise.
No trip to Positano is complete without trying out its spectacular seafood dishes. This town is well-known across Italy for its flavors of the sea. Locals get fresh fish in the morning, pack it with Mediterranean spices, and serve it with pride.
Sea urchins, fish, mollusks, and other seafood are the protagonists on the plate. And there are a variety of ways you can enjoy this. Whether you pick pasta, pizza, or meat dishes, Positano indulges the seafood lover.
An unforgettable dish here is scialatielli ai frutti di mare, a fresh pasta dish topped with various seafood. Another is the Colatura di Alici, an anchovy dish that is the modern take on the ancient Roman dish called garum.
Lemons also play a big part in Positano’s cuisine. The cliff-edge terraces on the coast are home to gardens from which this colorful fruit grows. And they’re used in a ton of local recipes that locals adore.
The best-known lemon delight from the town is limoncello, a lemon liqueur. But you may want to try lesser-known delicacies. One must-try is ravioli filled with ricotta, topped with grated mozzarella and lemon peel then smoked between leaves.
Soft and irresistible cheeses are also a big deal in Positano’s food scene. These come from Mount Lattari, which houses countless cows and goats. This is where several small and family-run dairies are, producing the town’s tasty cheese.
Several types of cheese are well-loved in Positano and pack a ton of flavors into dishes. Provola, fiordilatte, and ricotta cheeses all get laced with aromatic herbs.
A must-try dish for avid cheese lovers is ndunderi, which features fresh ricotta cheese. The dish itself is UNESCO-recognized as one of the world’s oldest pasta dishes.
Incredible Views and Landmarks
Though small, Positano packs a ton of incredible postcard-worthy sights. The town’s coastline is one of the most recognizable wonders on the Amalfi coast. It’s filled with color, and lush greenery, and made even prettier by the glistening blue waters.
There are tons of colorful umbrellas by the shore and beach hunts backed up by green-clad rolling hills. But the real treat here is the pastel-colored houses sitting on the cliffside down to the edge of the water. And for the best pictures of this charming town, you’ll have to venture off to the sea to soak in the coastline’s glory.
Among the rainbow-hued houses, though, lie some historical buildings that you should take notice of. And the most iconic landmark in the city is the Church of Santa Maria Assunta. This is widely considered to be Positano’s symbol, and you can find it right within the town center.
This is a 12th-century church that preserved its original allures with its yellow and green tiled exterior. The main attraction lies within though. There’s a statue of the Black Madonna sitting above the altar here that dates back to the Byzantine era.
The MAR Roman Archaeological Museum offers the best historical sites in the city. The villa itself is stunning, preserving its original Pompeian-style decor and mosaic flooring. You can get a bird’s-eye view of the villa thanks to the glass and steel aerial path above it. But the highlight of this landmark is the medieval crypts that you can wander through.
Glorious nature views await you at the Path of the Gods. This is a hillside path that offers a view of the sparkling blue waters and lush greenery that the coast is popular for. With a ton to see here, the path offers a sensory overload for the adventurous tourist in you.
You’ll start out walking through a forest-like walk. Along the way, you’ll get a whiff of aromatic thyme and rosemary filling the air. Eventually, you’ll reach a rugged cliffside to view the colorful homes by the sea.
Beach Fun in Stunning Waters
With Positano being a coastal town, water fun is an essential part of your visit. And more than swimming and hanging out on the shore, Positano is a perfect spot for some exciting water sports.
A kind of beach to grace postcards is Spiaggia Grande. This is Positano’s main beach, an iconic place to take a picture of the charming town.
Spiaggia Grande may not be everyone’s cup of tea as it has a pebbled shoreline and black sand. But the well-loved beach more than makes up for it with its other draws. With its lush surroundings and incredibly clear azure waters, Spiaggia Grande is the perfect spot for relaxation.
But being the most popular beach in Positano, Spiaggia Grande can get quite packed. So you may want to venture off the beaten path for some secluded beaches.
Laurito Beach is always an option, as it only takes a short bus ride to get there. There’s the Arienzo too, a small yet charming beach with public and private baths.
No matter where you go though, the town’s beaches are also perfect for water sports.
Boat trips are popular in Positano. The best way to admire the town’s breathtaking landscape is to see it from the sea!
There are many small boat tours in town to choose from, driving you to the Amalfi Coast for a few hours. A boat trip during sunset is a magical experience as it gives the town an amber-like hue. You may even get a glimpse of some dolphins, making the tour more unforgettable.
There are other more active ways for some beach fun in the city. You can go stand-up paddleboarding along the lush coastline. You can glide through the waters on a kayak or go snorkeling for some underwater views!
Countless Things to Do
There’s more to Positano than the sun, sand, and sea. The town also offers tons of fun inland, keeping you busy during your whole trip.
It can be as simple as wandering around Positano’s picturesque streets. Each of them has its own charm, giving you a varied experience at every turn. Discover small shops or restaurants along the way as you may run into some hidden gems.
Because Positano is small, it may only take you half a day to stroll around town. But because the town has a ton of vertical paths, you’re getting a good workout in the process too.
A more exciting excursion is riding a scooter around the coast. Take a Vespa tour along the magical coast while you soak up its beauty and enjoy the breeze.
Due to Positano’s interesting terrain, the town is also a hiker’s paradise. Crisscrossing the town are tons of hiking trails, each with stunning views of limestone cliffs. And not only can you enjoy hiking within the town, but there are also other spots nearby Positano.
The most popular trail in the town is the Path of the Gods. This trail is 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) long with a stunning seaside view. From here, you can even make your way to neighboring villages such as Nocelle and go further to Bomerano.
If shopping is your way of unwinding, Positano has an exciting shopping scene. Thanks to its plethora of local boutique shops, you have tons of options to splurge your money on.
Positano has tons of high-quality and chic clothes. Buy some linen dresses, cute bikinis, bags, ceramics, and lemon products.
But among all these, Positano is best known for its handmade and custom sandals. There are dozens of stores lining the town’s streets where you can get sandals to perfectly fit your feet. You can choose your style, size, and color, and within a few minutes, you’ve got high-quality sandals!
Scenic Nightlife Spots
With tons of things to do in Positano, there’s no better way to cap off your day than to have an aperitivo in hand. The fun doesn’t stop when the sun sets in this charming town, thanks to its exciting nightlife. With lavish hotels, cozy bars, and electrifying nightclubs, Positano is a terrific nightlife spot.
A scenic spot during sunset is the Gallis Sky Bar. This luxurious bar has an extensive collection of cocktails to fuel your aperitif.
What’s magical about this spot is its position as it overlooks Positano. From the Spiaggia Grande to the Mother Church, you’ll have a spectacular background as you enjoy a few drinks.
You can also head to Li Galli Bistrot, a small bar that also boasts a panoramic view of the town. There’s also La Scogliera, where you can enjoy the sunset on the beach.
If you’re a night owl, you’d want to change locations later in the night though. Positano has tons of late-night bars that make it the exciting nightlife retreat that it is.
Arguably the best nightlife spot in the city is Music On The Rocks. It’s a club in a natural cave situated on a waterfront cliff. At night, its bare-rock walls get illuminated with flashing lights, with upbeat music filling the air.
This club has two levels that overlook the sea, with the party carrying on until 4 AM. Music On The Rocks is also a great spot to go VIP-watching as it’s often visited by the rich and famous from all over the world.
For a more chill night out away from the bustling crowds, make your way to L’alternativea. Here’s where you can enjoy a glorious cocktail bar under the twinkling stars. Soak up the seaside ambiance and enjoy the local vibe, this bar is the spot to be for a relaxing evening.
Amalfi is one of the most beautiful spots on the Amalfi Coast thanks to its stunning buildings and lush greenery. The town packs a fascinating culture and history, along with tons of things to do that appeal to everyone. Top that off with lavish allures, Amalfi offers a VIP experience without a high price tag.
What Makes Amalfi Unique?
Stunning Historical Landmarks
Amalfi is the place to be on the Amaldi coast if you want a town filled with historic charms amidst a lush backdrop. This town is well-known for its stunning medieval architecture. And although it’s quite a small town, it holds a ton of historical landmarks.
The best place to start your historical tour of Amalfi is at the heart of the city. On Amalfi’s main square lies the Duomo di Sant’Andrea, the town’s most recognizable landmark.
This magnificent Duomo overlooks the piazza, sitting on top of high steps. Its opulent facade gives off a medieval charm. But thanks to a redesign back in the 13th century, it also has an Arab-Norman influence.
Duomo di Sant’Andrea has a sparkling golden mosaic on its top. Although it’s a beauty from the outside, there are tons to see on the inside too.
At the altar are statues of well-renowned artists such as Michelangelo and Bernini. There’s also a small museum and a crypt here that welcomes visitors for exploration. The Duomo also has an ancient section known as the Cloister of Paradise.
The Cloister of Paradise is an Arabic-style structure that exudes elegance. In the middle of the building is a lush garden full of palms. And from this spot, you can get the best views of the cathedral’s bell tower.
In front of the Duomo is another magnificent sight, the Fountain of Sant’Andrea. Lavishly decorated with detailed sculptures, it provides locals and tourists with drinkable water.
Go further on a historical tour of Amalfi and head to the Arsenale della Republica. This is a 12th-century medieval shipyard that’s now a museum for you to explore. Among the highlights here is a centuries-old copy of the medieval laws of the sea plus clothes from this period.
Breathtaking Natural Attractions
Amalfi is also a paradise for nature lovers. Tons of natural green pockets inland are begging to get explored. And this makes for tons of exciting excursions away from the beach.
One of the most magnificent spots in the town is the Valle delle Ferriere. This is a sprawling and dense nature reserve in the town. It’s full of towering forests, exotic flora, and tons of waterfalls, and you may get a glimpse of rare fauna such as otters and salamanders.
You’ll find signs in the town that leads to the hiking path. And as you walk to the nature reserve, you’ll get greeted by lemon groves and historic watermills. The hiking path is around 3.7 miles (6 kilometers), with a cascading waterfall where you can plunge in at the end of the route.
Amalfi’s other enchanting attraction is the Emerald Grotto. It’s one of the most popular caves in the whole of the Amalfi Coast for its beauty. When light hits the seawater, it illuminates the cave walls to give it an emerald-hued interior.
Beautiful Blue Beaches
Being on the famous Amalfi Coast, the town of Amalfi has tons of glorious beaches to visit. With the range of beaches the town has to offer, Amalfi has a perfect beach for your liking. Whether you’re into water sports or seeking to escape the crowds, there’s always an option for you.
The town’s main beach is the Marina Grande, the largest beach in Amalfi. It’s a lively pebble beach filled with countless rows of colorful sunbeds. It sits right across the town’s center, the Piazza Duomo. But due to its accessibility, it can get pretty busy on this beach. Still, it’s the beach of choice for avid sunbathers.
Duoglio Beach is one of the best-loved beaches in the city. And this is because it has some of the clearest blue waters on the coast! The downside is that you’ll have to walk down 400 stairs to reach its glistening waters.
Because of its water clarity, Duoglio Beach is perfect for water sports lovers. It’s the best spot in town for snorkeling and admiring the thriving sea life. Not only that, you can try windsurfing and kayaking on this beach. And if you’re visiting Amalfi anywhere from June to September, you can catch the Amalfi Coast Sea Kayak. This is one of the best guided kayak tours on the entire Amalfi Coast.
If you want to enjoy the beach without much competition, head over to Santa Croce. This is one of the coast’s most secluded beaches as the only way to get there is by taking a boat ride. Tucked along an inlet, Santa Croce is an idyllic cove tucked between towering cliffs.
For a family beach day, there’s no better beach than the La Marinella. This is the go-to beach for those with small children as the water here is clear, calm, and shallow. The swimming area is small, and there’s tons of shade just below the deck.
La Marinella also offers tons of sunbeds, beach umbrellas, and some restaurants nearby.
Delightful Shopping Experiences
Walking around Amalfi’s charming streets, you’ll realize that it has an exciting shopping scene. Shops here focus on unique local goods instead of big brand names. But the town offers an eclectic mix of offers to make up for this.
Most of the shops in town are on the main street. The street from the Duomo to the mountains is a sprawling and bustling retail therapy haven!
Looking for some trendy clothes to freshen up your wardrobe? Make your way to Jp Boutique, run by a local designer and artist. This shop is full of clothing, accessories, and jewelry, but you’ll also find ceramics and tons of other finds here.
For some high-quality leather goods, Bazar Florio is the shop to visit. This is a family-run shop that makes bags, wallets, belts, and more, from scratch. With an extensive collection of unique designs for a good price, you can’t go wrong here!
Custom-made sandals are also a big part of the town’s shopping experience. At Creazioni Chris, you can get custom, high-quality sandals within 15 minutes! Choose from any style, decoration, and model, and walk home with your unique sandals!
Further adding to a more personalized shopping experience is the Goccia d’Oro. In this scent shop, you can mix your concoction of natural scents and create your own perfume!
The Amalfi shopping scene continues with other delightful souvenirs to take home. Buy some ceramics at Milleunaceramica. Take home some pure cotton handmade paper from Tabula. Accessorize with a silk scarf for cheap at Vincelli Silk, and more!
Delectable Traditional Cuisine
Dominating Amalfi’s food scene are Mediterranean flavors and fresh seafood. The town has plenty of restaurants for an exciting gastronomic adventure. So you’re never too far away from some authentic Italian eats in the city.
Near the Duomo di Sant’Andrea is a family-run restaurant that offers delectable seafood cuisine. At the Taverna Degli Apostoli, you’ll get an extensive menu of tasty eats! Only freshly-caught seafood makes its way onto your plate, along with local produce to fill your tummy.
If you want to dine with a view, the Sensi restaurant is the place for you. It offers creative and innovative dishes, plated artistically. Not only that, this restaurant has a gorgeous view of the glistening ocean too.
You can never go wrong with pizza in Amalfi too. La Rua Pizze E Delizie offers homemade and hearty pizza made with the freshest ingredients.
Fish and chips are the snacks of choice here too. Head to Cuoppo D’Amalfi for some deep-fried fish, prawns, squid, and chips. Eat like a local and squeeze some tangy lemon on top of your snack!
A gastronomic experience in Amalfi isn’t complete without munching on some Lemon Delight. This is the town’s famous dessert, a sponge cake filled and covered with whipped lemon cream. The best place to get one is the Pasticceria Andrea Pansa, where you can also get some delicious coffee, candied lemons, and other sweet delights!
Amalfi has tons of exciting things to do on your vacation. The city offers several tours for you to admire its scenery, culture, and quaint charm.
Among the most unique things to do in Amalfi is going on a Lemon Tour. With this, you’ll tour lemon gardens and see how the town grows and harvests its lemons. But not only will you see the workers in action, but you’ll also get to go lemon tasting!
This tour will also offer fresh lemonade and delectable lemon cake at the end of the trip. You also get to visit the Museum of Arts and Crafts. And here, you get a view of how they make limoncello along with some tastings.
Along the way, you get to go to some of the most picturesque spots of the town for some touristy pictures.
You can also float along the coast with a kayak tour. Paddle through the town’s finest beach with views of incredibly lush cliffs.
If this isn’t what you want, renting a boat is always an option for you. Cruise away from the crowd and take charge of your boat!
Is It Better to Stay in Amalfi or Positano?
The main consideration in choosing between the two is what you want out of your trip. Positano is more of a vibrant and lively city. Meanwhile, Amalfi is better for those who want a more quiet town in an idyllic setting.
Positano has the quintessential Italian summer vibes. It’s arguably the most breathtaking town on the coast for its pastel-hued houses on steep cliffs.
Positano is quite hilly though, with lots of stairs to scale. So getting around the town is quite a workout.
Amalfi is quite flat compared to Positano though, so you don’t have to climb endless stairs. It packs tons of historical sites, luxurious attractions, and more, without breaking the bank. With this, Amalfi is a better destination for budget travelers.
So while Positano wins for its glorious views, Amalfi has much more sites to explore.
Positano vs. Amalfi Nightlife
Both coastal towns aren’t known for their wild and electrifying nightlife. But Positano’s nightlife is more exciting than Amalfi’s. And it’s arguably the best nightlife spot on the Amalfi Coast.
Positano has more bars and a more varied selection of these. Not only that, but Positano’s nightclubs also operate longer hours than Amalfi’s. The famous Music on the Rocks club keeps the fun going up until 4 AM.
Positano’s nightlife centers around seaside bars, cave clubs, and other upscale bars. There’s a place to be if you want to dance the night away or enjoy the seaside view with a cocktail in hand.
Meanwhile, Amalfi’s nightlife is much calmer, like the city’s quieter charm. Most of the bars here are great for a chill night out, so there’s not a ton of variety here compared to Positano.
Where Is Positano on Amalfi Coast?
Positano is a town in the region of Campania, centrally located on the Amalfi Coast. It’s to the east of another famous town on the coast, Sorrento. And it’s to the west of the popular town of Amalfi.
Is Amalfi and Positano the Same?
Amalfi and Positano are not the same, as they’re two separate towns on the Amalfi Coast.
How Far Is Amalfi From Positano?
The straight line distance between Amalfi and Positano is around 6 miles (10 kilometers). The driving distance is longer due to the road curvature though. Amalfi’s driving distance from Positano is around 10 miles (16 kilometers).
Positano to Amalfi
You have three options to travel from Positano to Amalfi. You can take either a ferry, bus, or taxi.
Since both towns are only 10 miles (16 kilometers) apart, the travel time is usually under an hour no matter the option you choose. Still, there are pros and cons to each that every traveler should know. So here’s a quick overview below for you to pick which best suits you.
Taking a taxi is the fastest way to get to Amalfi from Positano. The travel time only takes around 21 minutes. But the downside is its price as a taxi ride on this route costs around 21 to 26 USD.
Taking the bus is the cheapest option as the bus tickets only range from 1 to 3 USD. Buses leave from Positano to Amalfi at an interval of every 3 hours. The downside to this option is the longer travel time as it usually takes as long as 40 minutes.
Taking the ferry is a great middle-ground option. The travel time only takes around 25 minutes and only costs as low as 3 USD. There are direct ferries between the two towns daily, departing every four hours.
Amalfi to Positano by Train
Unfortunately, there are no train stations in Positano or Amalfi. The only train station near the Amalfi Coast is Vietri Sul Mare, which connects Naples and Salerno.
With this, taking the train is not an option if you want to go to Positano from Amalfi. Instead, you can choose to take a taxi, bus, or ferry.
Bus From Positano to Amalfi
There are direct buses between Positano and Amalfi with ticket prices costs of around 1 to 3 USD. This journey covers 6 miles (10 kilometers) and takes an average of 40 minutes to complete. With bus services leaving Positano every three hours daily, you’re sure to catch a bus.
Taxi From Positano to Amalfi
You can take a taxi from Positano to Amalfi, and this journey often takes around 21 minutes only. You can book a taxi transfer online to tailor-fit your travel needs. You can also plan the detours so you can make scenic stops along the way.
Positano to Amalfi Taxi Cost
Though fast and comfortable, a taxi ride is the most expensive transportation option. You can expect to pay 21 to 26 USD for a taxi ride on this route.
Water Taxi From Positano to Amalfi
Tons of water taxis and ferries travel between Positano and Amalfi daily. The travel time for this option is around 25 minutes on average, though some may be faster than this. Prices vary depending on a few factors, but the average price is around 37 USD.
Can You Walk From Amalfi to Positano?
Since they’re only 6 miles (10 kilometers) apart, walking from Amalfi to Positano may be an exciting idea. But this isn’t recommended due to the craggy terrain and steep cliffs in both cities.
Amalfi or Positano for Day Trip?
Most tourists choose Positano for their day trip as it’s arguably the most charming town on the Amalfi Coast. Other than that, Positano is a much livelier town than Amalfi. There’s much more to do in Positano, making your day trip worthwhile.
Best Way to Get From Positano to Amalfi
The best way to travel from Positano to Amalfi is by taking a ferry. A ferry combines speed and affordability. It’s faster than taking a bus and much cheaper than taking a taxi.
Ferry ticket prices can be anywhere from 3 to 21 USD. And it only takes 25 minutes for you to reach the coastal town of Amalfi.