I had been dreaming of going to Positano since I first saw a photo of it. I have loved everywhere in Italy I have visited before and I had a feeling Positano would be no different. It wasn’t. I always thought Positano would be a perfect honeymoon destination, so that is where we kicked ours off. Today, I’ll be sharing my Positano travel guide with you all and sharing my recs on where to stay, where to eat, and what to do.
I’ll note first that Positano is a resort town, so things tend to be a little more expensive here from the hotels, to the food, to the activities.
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Positano is located on the Amalfi Coast. The closest airport is in Naples, which is a little over an hour drive depending on traffic. We were traveling from Florence via train, so we had a drive pick us up and take us. You can ask your hotel in Positano to arrange a transfer for you from either the airport or train station.
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at Hotel Pupetto. This is actually the only hotel located right on the beach. It’s not on the big main beach (Marina Granda), but it is located on it’s own little beach called Fornillo. As far as convenience goes, it doesn’t get any better. When you arrive you’ll go down a never ending path of stairs down the hill to the hotel. Luckily, they take your luggage down for you. You won’t have to hike back up every time you want to go to the main part of town, because there is a path right out of the hotel that leads to it and its just a short 5-10 minute walk. We loved that our hotel had a beach we could walk right out to, as well as chairs and umbrellas we could rent. It also had an amazing restaurant on site where we had the most amazing lemon pizza and the staff members were so nice. However, the rooms were extremely outdated. Many hotels in Italy are this way, so it wasn’t completely surprising that this was a theme when we were looking at various hotels in Positano. Because so many could use an update, we went with this one for the location.
The buildings in Positano actually have regulations about remodeling the outside of their hotels, so I guess they just say screw it and don’t update anything. It’s nice to feel like your transported to another time, which you do, but it’s also nice to have good aesthetics where you’re staying. The hairdryer and iron were so outdated I couldn’t even use them there. While I don’t think we’ll stay here on our next trip, it wouldn’t be a bad place if you want to be right on the beach. For our next trip, we’ll look into other options, which I’m rounding up below.
- Le Sirenuse: okay, so honestly we may never stay a few days here, but it would be fun for a night. The rooms cost about a month’s rent, but man, this hotel is stunning. If you’ve looked up photos of Positano on Pinterest, then you’ve definitely seen their famous view (and I’m sharing it below because we ate at their amazing restaurant one night). The hotel, the service, or the overall vibe just doesn’t get better. It comes at a hefty price though.
- Hotel Villa Franca: this was a private home until the family turned it into a beautiful boutique hotel. Every room has a private balcony and gorgeous views.
- Il San Pietro Di Positano: each room is built on top of the another, so they all have balconies and views. The pool here also boasts amazing views. There is also a lift that goes from the lobby of the hotel down to their private beach which has a cocktail bar. It’s located a little outside of the city center, but they have a private car available 24/7 to take guests down into Positano whenever they want.
- Punta Regina Positano: this hotel is located in the center of Positano and overlooks the main beach. This small boutique hotel has an intimate feel and beautiful, classic interiors. The pool has cocktails, snacks, and a gorgeous view.
- Hotel Palazzo Murat: located in a botanical garden in an eighteenth-century palace in the middle of town, just a two minute walk fro the beach. The rooms are filled with antique furniture that used to belong to the King of Naples. They have a variety of rooms with both garden and sea views, but all of them are full of incredible history!
- Hotel Poseidon: our friends stayed here before our wedding and loved it. They said they enjoyed being just a 5-10 minute walk from the beach, but also that they could stay at their hotel and lounge by the pool to enjoy the gorgeous views. They also said the staff there was phenomenal and they would definitely recommend it!
I truly don’t think there is a bad location in Positano. If you’re not right on the beach or in the city center, then you get the tranquility of being off on your own. In this case, I’d for sure pick one with a pool to relax at! Even if you’re walking around a lot, its a great way to burn off all the amazing things you will eat, which brings me to my next topic (and always the most important in my mind) the food.
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WHERE & WHAT TO EAT
I mean, you can’t go wrong with the food in Italy. Eat all the pasta, pizza, and gelato you can! Because you are on the coast, be sure to have lots of seafood!! White wine goes perfectly with it there, but as with anywhere in Italy you can’t ever go wrong with an Aperol Spritz or some Limoncello.
- La Sponda: this Michelin Star restaurant is located in Le Sirenuse hotel and is one of the most amazing dining experiences we’ve ever had. It is also the most gorgeous restaurant I’ve ever been to. We went here the first night of our honeymoon to take in all the views and let it all settle in! We did the Chef’s tasting menu with wine pairings and it was all such a great experience! The service was incredible and I would highly recommend it. If you don’t want to splurge on the tasting menu, still go and just enjoy whatever they are serving that night.
- Chez Black: we ate here our last night in Positano and loved it. It’s been there forever and is definitely a favorite for those who have been visiting Positano for years. We actually sat a table next to Denzel Washington here that night, which was quite the celeb sighting for two super fans like us. He has apparently been going for years and I see why. The pizza, seafood pasta, and lasagna were all to die for! It’s located right up from the beach in the main square.
- Buca Di Bacco: this is another classic Positano spot located right across from Chez Black. It has been there since 1916! Everything here was amazing as well from the food to the service and the atmosphere.
- Rada: the views here are amazing and it has an amazing atmosphere! It’s one of three places in one, with a club being at the bottom, Rada being on the second level, and Fly Lounge on the top level. Whether you’re going just for a drink, for a romantic dinner, or to party late night its a must visit. You can’t go wrong with what you order, but the button pasta is super popular!
- Casa e Bottega: an absolutely adorable little spot that is perfect to grab breakfast at in town if you aren’t eating at your hotel. It is so adorable and everything on the menu is based on fresh, organic produce. They also serve lunch!
- Vini e Panini: an adorable little sandwich and wine shop that is the perfect pit stop if you need snacks or a picnic for the beach or a boat ride. This wine shop has been there since 1890!
- Ristorante Pupetto: this restaurant is located at Hotel Pupetto on the terrace overlooking the beach. There are beautiful lemon trees shading the terrace, so we couldn’t help but order a lemon-flavored pizza which was so unique and fresh. This is a great lunch spot after a break from the beach.
- Bar Bruno: this little restaurant straddles the main street that runs through Positano. The street-side tables here not only have an amazing view, but you’ll have an amazing meal. Tables are for those dining only, so be sure to make a reservation to snag a prime spot for dinner with a view.
- Ristorante Max: this is an art gallery meets restaurant that delivers a fabulous atmosphere. They have cooking classes you can take or you can go for dinner and enjoy their authentic dishes either in the restaurant or in the garden.
- Ristorante Casa Mele: this restaurant also has cooking classes available! They combine other amazing flavors from around the world with traditional Italian food in a charming atmosphere with an open kitchen.
Da Adolfo: this restaurant must be reached by boat and is on its own private little beach. Boats pick up from the docks at the main beach in the morning and go back in the afternoon. You must make reservations for lunch here to spend the day out at the beach club. This is such a fun day experience!
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WHAT TO DO
- Relax on the beach! Either go to Marina Grande and rent a chair or go to Fornillo Beach and do the same. Most places have people who will wait on you to bring you drinks or snacks. You pay to rent the chairs and umbrellas for the day and can leave to go to lunch and come back if you want to.
- Take a boat tour to see Positano from the sea. You can either rent one for a few hours at sunset, a half day, or full day. Most come with a little something (snacks and drinks), but you can also bring whatever you want on. You can reserve them ahead of time or find one off Marina Granda to rent. I’d recommend setting something up ahead of time if possible to ensure you can go when you want, weather permitting. It was too windy when we had booked ours so we weren’t able to go out!
- Champagne Bar at Le Sirenuse: you can eat here also and take in all the gorgeous views the hotel and La Sponda have to offer, without as steep of a price tag. The music and atmosphere here is fun and we loved coming here for pre-dinner drinks to take in the view and people watch.
- Franco’s Bar: this adorable little spot is right next door to Le Sirenuse, so it has that amazing view. It’s the perfect late-afternoon or pre-dinner cocktail spot. It seems to always be busy, so go early to secure a table!
- For a night-out in Positano go to Next 2 or On the Rocks where you can dance until the wee hours of the morning. Just like the rest of Italy and Europe, the party doesn’t start until midnight or later.
If you’re interested in seeing some of the other nearby towns on the Amalfi Coast, like Sorrento, Ravello, or Amalfi, you can rent a car to take you to do a tour of the towns one day. Id’ recommend this if you’re spending several days in Positano or have an itch to see as much as possible, otherwise I’d say just relax and enjoy gorgeous Positano.
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I actually wore this little white dress for the exit of our wedding and out late night. I wanted to wear it again on one of the nights of our honeymoon! It’s such a classic little silk dress that can be dressed up or down and worn for years to come. It comes in a few other colors, too.
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- I’d recommend making reservations for any places you want to go for dinner. You can easily wander up during lunch (with the exception of Da Adolfo), but for dinner the restaurants are very busy and you may either not get in or have to wait for awhile.
- Bring comfortable shoes. You’ll see people dressed up at dinner in wedges or heels, but you don’t have to. I wore flats because we were walking up and down the stairs and hills a lot to get to where we are going. If you’re just walking a few steps to dinner from your hotel or having a car take you, then go for it! Just be prepared to do your fair share of walking up hills.
Following a visit to Positano in the 50’s, John Steinback said “Positano bites deep” and he was right. He went on to say “It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.” I’m borrowing his words to explain this gorgeous place, because I can’t say it better. It is such a magical place that you feel like you have to pinch yourself while taking in. I loved it here and can’t wait to go back! We’ll return when it isn’t the peak of the Summer, so it is less crowded and we can enjoy it even more. I hope this Positano travel guide helps you when planning your trip and I’d love to know if you have been and I missed any of your favorite spots. XO