How to Visit the Amalfi Coast: Budget Guide


Shea Duplechain

6/22/20237 分钟阅读

The Amalfi Coast in Italy during the Summer
The Amalfi Coast in Italy during the Summer

The Amalfi Coast is one of Italy’s most sought after destinations, and for good reason. The coastal area is truly a natural beauty and will fulfill anyone's fantasy of a perfect Italian summer. Amalfi and Positano are the more popular towns in the area; the island of Capri is also just a short ferry ride from any of the towns. While the Amalfi Coast is a destination that thousands of people visit every year, it still doesn’t make it an easy destination to get to. I can say from my own experience, there are a few things I wish I would have known before going, and that's exactly what this article will do for you.

How Do I Get to the Amalfi Coast?

Avoid the taxis!

There are a few ways in which one can get to the Amalfi Coast, some of which you should avoid. The first form of transportation you should avoid in this situation are taxis. Taking a taxi from Naples to Sorrento at the least will cost a few hundred euros. You would probably have a hard time finding a taxi that would agree to drive you that far anyway, but it's just not a great financial decision regardless. There are other ways of getting there that are just as safe, reliable, and fractions of the cost.

Avoid Rental Cars!

The second form of transportation to avoid is renting a car. If you are under the age of 25 this option will most likely not even be available to you, but for those of you who it is, it should still be avoided. The infrastructure in and around the Amalfi Coast is good for its circumstances, but that does not make the narrow winding roads along the cliff edges any safer. I would not recommend anyone to attempt to drive themselves around the area, as I feel like it's not worth the potential risk. Large buses are also routinely trafficking these same roads that are not much wider than the buses to begin with. While the bus drivers who drive those roads everyday may be comfortable navigating the roads while avoiding other vehicles, you probably won't feel as confident edged up against the cliff side as they fly past you. Aside from all this, rental cars are expensive, you’ll spend too much time and stress finding parking, and the other options are cheaper and safer.

Take the Trains!

The most popular way to get to the Amalfi Coast, and the way I got there myself, is to take a train from Naples down to Sorrento. There are two options for trains; the Circumvesuviana and the Campania Express. If you’re arriving at Napoli Centrale, all you need to do is find the escalators and go down a level. Once you get off, take a left and continue down past the shops. Once you pass the shops you should see the departure and arrival area for the Circumvesuviana and the ticket boxes next to it. Tickets for the Circumvesuviana are around €3-€5. I would recommend having cash, as there is only one box that takes cards. You can also purchase tickets for the Campania Express here as well, which are about €15. The two trains will both bring you to Sorrento; the Campania Express takes around 45 minutes but only runs four times per day, whereas the Circumvesuviana takes about 90 minutes and runs every 30 minutes starting at 6:00 am and ending at 9:30 pm. The Campania Express will be the more comfortable of the two, as it is air conditioned and will probably have less people. One thing I was told about the Circumvesuviana was to watch out for pickpocketers. This is something that I was told about the Napoli Centrale in general, they even have signs throughout the station. While I didn’t have any problems or felt unsafe at any point in the Napoli Centrale or the Circumvesuviana, it should be said to remember to be observant and always keep track of your belongings as you should anywhere. Overall I had a good experience taking the Circumvesuviana. It is a beautiful ride down to Sorrento, and you’ll even be serenaded with the accordion version of Despacito by locals.

Take the Ferries!

A lesser known option, and probably the best, is to take the ferry. The ferry will by far be the most scenic of all the forms of transportation, and you will still be able to enjoy the open air and Mediterranean breeze. You’ll even get an amazing view of Mount Vesuvius. The ferry is the fastest way to get to Sorrento, only taking around 40 mins. The only drawback to the ferry is that it will only run at most, four times a day. Alilauro is the most well known company, and ferries out of the Beverello port. A one way ticket to Sorrento will be €14, and can be purchased online or at the port. I haven’t taken this ferry, but I took similar ones to get around the Amalfi Coast. I enjoyed them and would say they're easily the most comfortable and enjoyable form of transportation you will get around there.

Maybe the Bus?

The last option for transportation would be by bus. This is still a viable and affordable option, but I would not recommend it unless as a last resort. The reason I say this is because taking the train or ferry will be so much more of a comfortable ride, more available, and similar prices. Buses are normally a reliable form of transportation (I have used them many times while traveling and will do so in the future) but in high density tourist areas like this they will become very crammed. If you do decide to take the bus, a one ticket costs about €30 and takes around an hour and a half to get to Sorrento. You can purchase tickets online through Flixbus.

Where Do I Stay on The Amalfi Coast?

It may be no surprise to you that traveling to one of Italy’s most picturesque destinations can become quite expensive. Due to the popularity of the area (especially in the summer) accommodations can become quite the financial burden for someone traveling on a budget, like myself. Despite this, traveling to the Amalfi Coast on a budget is still possible if you plan it out properly. When I visited the area I didn’t properly research the area beforehand, and went in blindly. This lack of proper planning led to a lot of stress and unnecessary expenses I could have avoided. So if I were to travel there again I would definitely stay in Sorrento. While Sorrento is not technically part of the “Amalfi Coast” you will end up having to pass through the city regardless to get towns like Amalfi and Positano. Sorrento is a beautiful area, and is much bigger than other towns nearby. The reason I recommend staying here is because there are a lot more accommodation options, and you won't have to fight the crowds waiting to be taken further down the coast. Sorrento is also the only affordable area near the Amalfi Coast, as staying in Amalfi or Positano is not very affordable and mostly small luxury hotels. Places like Seven Hostel, Florida Hostel & Hotel, and Resort Campogaio are just a few of the more affordable options in Sorrento and can be found on If you are interested in staying at these places or any place in Sorrento, you should try to book them a few months in advance as they tend to become booked fast and rise in price in the summer months. You can still travel to the other towns along the coast easily by taking the ferry. In 20 mins you can be in Amalfi or Positano and enjoy the beaches and restaurants of those areas without having to pay for the expensive accommodations to visit.

How Do I Get Around the Amalfi Coast?

Traversing the Amalfi Coast will be the same no matter where you stay in the region. Getting around by bus or ferry are really the only ways of transportation around the coast, and are both inexpensive and reliable. I took both forms of transportation and came away with some pros and cons. The ferries are the better option by far, as they are more comfortable, faster, and give you incredible views of the coast. A one way ticket is around €13, and will take you to all the main areas of the Amalfi Coast in around 20 mins. You can buy tickets at the stands near the ports, and they can take both cash or card. If you’re staying in Sorrento, I STRONGLY RECOMMEND taking the ferry. The buses from Sorrento take about 40 mins to get to Amalfi, they are extremely packed, and you will have to wait in line for hours to get on a bus. Also they are not hangover friendly (do with that what you will). If you get motion sickness the buses are probably not something you want to experience. Another problem with the buses is they tend to fill up fast, and there were a few occasions where we weren’t even able to get on the bus due to it becoming full. In that situation you just have to wait for the next bus for that route which could be a few hours. Even though there are a few inconveniences with the buses, they are the cheaper option. Tickets are around €3 and can be bought at newspaper stands, convenience stores, or designated ticket stands. Hostels and hotels will also sell them as well. If you do end up taking the buses, familiarize yourself with the bus schedules to anticipate arrivals and avoid missing buses.

What Should I Know Before Traveling to the Amalfi Coast?

There are a few travel tips to know that will help streamline your fun on the Amalfi Coast. Most of these tips are derived from my own experiences there and a really just small recommendation to help boost your experience overall. Most of the beaches have a larger private area that rents out lounge chairs and large umbrellas. These areas are kind of pricey and not worth it in my opinion, especially if you won't be there all day. There is alway a public area to the side that is free to layout where you chose. If you go this option, bring a beach towel to lay out on as the sand is too hot to sit on. I would wear some type of footwear that is easy to slip on and off as well, because you’ll burn your feet trying to reach the water without shoes. Just wear them to the water's edge and slip them off before getting to the water. You’ll find a collection of shoes piling up from other people doing the same. You can buy beach towels and flip flops from shops in the towns for a few euros if you don't already have them. Don’t forget to wear sunblock.

If you ride on the ferries, don’t buy the limoncello they will try to sell you. There is nothing wrong with the limoncello, it's just over priced and probably not as good as what you can buy in the towns. They also only take cash.