Positano is a beautiful spot along the Amalfi Coast. With steep hills and colorful buildings staggered down dramatic cliffs towards the beachfront, Positano has wonderful scenery and is famous for its distinct aesthetic. Tourists flock to Positano, even on day trips from cities like Rome.
It is no guarded secret that visiting Positano is one of the best things to do in Italy. This stunning little town is perfect – whether you want to hit a glitzy beach club or take a private boat tour around the prettiest nearby grottos. Many hotels run a free boat shuttle to other Amalfi coast towns, and in fact, boat tours are one of the best things to do in Positano. Let’s get specific though, What are the best things to do in Positano?
18 Best Things to Do in Positano
These top 18 things to do in Positano will keep you busy. You could check out those mentioned beach clubs, visit the Church of Santa Maria, take a boat tour of the Blue Grotto, or enjoy hiking the Path of the Gods. This guide has all the Positano inspiration you need for a spectacular trip.
Planning Your Trip To Positano Right Now?
Below are some of the top tours in Positano, Amalfi Coast. Don’t forget to plan ahead when visiting the Amalfi Coast!
Top Activities and Tours in Positano:
1. Take a Boat Ride Further Along the Amalfi Coast
So many tours will take you along the coast from Positano on a sightseeing day on the water – including private boat tours like this one. It might sound strange to start a list of things to do in Positano with an activity that involves leaving Positano. However, as you probably already know, the Amalfi Coast is a package deal. 15 Amalfi Coast towns are worth visiting, and on an Amalfi Coast day tour, you’ll see the best of the lot.
Minori and Atrani are usually on the itinerary. A boat ride is an ideal way to experience this section of gorgeous Italy. Positano and its neighboring towns and villages have a colossal port area. You’ll be hopping between the best ports (some of which look more like tiny docking areas) and spending time in each place before moving on to your next colorful stop along the sea.
2. Try the Amalfi Coast Lemons
You need to try some Amalfi Coast lemons when you visit Positano. Trying some hand-squeezed lemonade from one of the roadside stalls is one of the most unmissable things to do in Positano. The Amalfi region is hugely associated with lemons, which have been grown on mass as a prime crop for centuries. The lemons were especially valued in coastal areas because they assisted sailors against scurvy, with the vitamin C in the lemons help keep the disease at bay. Once this link was made, lemons became a valuable export as other countries began to utilize lemons against scurvy.
While you are (hopefully) not at risk of developing scurvy any time soon, it is a must-do activity to sample the delicious citrus fruit. Roadside stalls around Positano sell freshly squeezed lemonade or crushed lemon ice slushies. So make sure that you factor this into your itinerary.
3. Visit the Blue Grotto
The Blue Grotto is just as beautiful as it sounds. The cave is a bright blue – electric in color – thanks to the sunlight, which reflects at a certain angle into the cave through the opening. The opening is just big enough for little fishing boats to squeeze under, and laying flat in the boat to squeeze through is all part of the excitement. If you love beautiful places and natural attractions, the Blue Grotto is not one to miss and is a definite itinerary filler. Rather than being in Positano itself, it is located on the island of Capri, so it is a day trip attraction that you should dedicate a whole day to. It is well-combined with a boat tour of the Amalfi Coast, though, and you’ll be spending a lot of time on the water, so keep an eye out for dolphins and other sea creatures.
If you want to splurge on the experience, you can book a private boat tour to the Blue Grotto. But otherwise, catch the ferry to Capri from Sorrento, where you can jump on one of the boat tours without even an advanced booking. The Blue Grotto is a fantastic day trip from Positano.
4. Positano Spiaggia
Visiting Positano Spiaggia (Marina Grande Beach) is one of the things to do in Positano that you won’t miss out on. It is impossible not to get lured into spending time on this beautiful beach at the bottom of Positano town center. The large beach is a striking dark gray, which looks stunning at dusk when all the lights of the town create a mesmerizing backdrop. For a classic beach experience, Positano Spiaggia Grande is just a short walk from the town center and a dreamy place to throw down a towel or take a dip. For Riviera vibes, you must visit Positano’s main beach.
We’d suggest a beach day on Positano Spiaggia. You can soak up the views in less than 5 minutes, but for the whole experience, you should visit this beach in the afternoon to watch the sunset and see it in all its finest lights.
5. La Porta Beach
As much as the phrase ‘hidden gem’ is over-used, it is the best way to describe this little beach. Only accessible by boat, La Porta Beach is one of the best things to do in Positano if you want an adventurous day out on a boat tour. It is inaccessible overland, and steep cliffs and an undergrowth back the beach.
To get here, you must speak to a local tour operator and organize a private boat tour or book a group excursion. There’s nothing like being dropped off on a secluded beach. We vote that you should embrace your inner Leonardo di Caprio and enjoy some time cut off from society on ‘the beach’.
Reaching La Porta Beach won’t take long – less than 20 minutes. It is an excellent activity if you have half a day and want to incorporate some time on the water into your trip. It is a beach day with a twist and some definite novelty; impossible not to love.
6. Visit Capri
We’ve already dropped in Capri once, but it is also worth mentioning that it is a brilliant day trip and an addition to your things to do in Positano in its own right. The island is small enough to see the highlights in a day, and you can visit sights like Punta Carena Lighthouse, the ancient Roman villa of Damecuta, and Mesola Fort. Capri is dotted with archaeological sites, and embracing island living for a day is terrific. It has a different atmosphere from the Amalfi Coast. You’ll love it.
You can book a guided day tour to include transportation from Positano or organize the trip yourself. If you like history, hiking, and adventurous day trips, visiting Capri is easily one of Positano’s best things to do. Allow around 1.5-2 hours to get there by ferry. A direct ferry from Positano takes just 1 hour and 20 minutes, or a ferry via Amalfi takes a little over 2 hours.
7. Wine Tasting
Even when visiting Positano, Italy and its culinary culture should dictate some things to do. One of these culinary things to do is to take an organized day trip to go wine tasting. Budget at least $100 for this experience, but it will be well worthwhile. The Amalfi region is one of the most impressive when it comes to grape growing, and that’s even by Italy’s standards, so you are really in for a treat. Costa d’Amalfi DOC is the most common wine type found on the Amalfi Coast and surrounding Positano region, which can be red, white, or rose wine. You should try them all. And since you get an expert sommelier on must-wine excursions from Positano, you won’t have trouble engaging in the experience.
Most tours last at least half a day. Allow a full day (and maybe the following morning) to enjoy this activity in Positano. A beach day should be on the cards the day after so that you can refresh and relax.
8. Buy Custom Sandals from Boutique Shops
Next up is one of the best gift-buying slash retail therapy things to do in Positano. The sandal-making trend started three generations ago with the local Rallo family, who have been hand-making sandals for around a century. Italian leather is in a league of its own and has a serious reputation in the luxury market. You can snag your own pair at numerous stores in Positano, and we’d recommend that you do, as they make such an elegant and memorable souvenir. The sandals come in all designs, but the most classic look is brown or tan-orange.
You can visit 5-6 sandal shops around Positano Spiaggia Beach’s west end. Some are made to measure in-store, while others you can buy off the shelves at a cheaper rate. Either way, you’ll be rocking some classy kicks.
9. Santa Maria Assunta
Santa Maria Assunta is a stunning storied church; its name translates to the Church of Santa Maria in English. The whole church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, with a huge icon of her adorning its interior walls. Whether you are religious or not, Catholicism is such a central part of Italian culture that it is a special attraction and addition to your things to do in Positano. You can visit Santa Maria Assunta for free.
We’d recommend stopping by, even to take a quick look at the architecture from the outside – although, if you have time, the interior is equally, if not more, stunning. Thanks to its huge domed roof, you can see the Church of Santa Maria from almost everywhere in Positano.
This is one of the top Positano attractions regarding religious history and culture. Remember that you should be covered up as much as possible out of respect. Aim to cover your shoulders and knees, such as a long dress, a scarf for women to drape over their shoulders, and trousers for men rather than shorts.
10. Emerald Grotto
If you don’t fancy heading to Capri to see the Blue Grotto, what about heading along the coastline instead to see the Emerald Grotto? The Emerald Grotto is located just outside, half an hour’s drive east of Positano. Despite this, getting a boat tour from Positano is recommended, just because the cave is only accessible by boat anyway.
Boat tours of the grotto take you through the sea cave, admiring stalactites and stalagmites. And, of course, you get to admire the deep green-colored water, which is illuminated just like the Blue Grotto by the angle of sunlight through the cave opening.
Tickets only cost 10 euros, so this is an ace budget-friendly activity near Positano. Remember to bring a camera for this attraction – preferably a waterproof one, just in case. The scenery inside the cave is just stunning, and this is a real natural piece of art.
11. MAR Positano Villa Romana
MAR Positano Villa Romana is an impressive museum and an absolute must-visit for anyone interested in Roman history. You’ll love this museum even if you aren’t an avid sightseer. It protects and showcases the ruins of an ancient Roman villa buried by ash from Vesuvius in its infamous AD 79 eruption.
Regarding the wow factor, this villa has got it, and it is like a little slice of Pompeii in Positano itself. The details that survived are amazing, and the ash effectively froze the villa in time. With bright colors still painted on its walls and heirlooms on display, it is like stepping back in time and through a real-life Roman’s door. This is one of the most popular things to do in Positano.
MAR Positano Villa Romana is easily accessed thanks to its central location in the Positano town center. It is a short walk from the beach, so you could easily combine the two. Regardless, the MAR Positano Villa Romana should be on your books.
12. Music on the Rocks
Music on the Rocks is one of the top attractions and most fun things to do in Positano, and with a name like that, you’ve probably already guessed what it entails. Music on the Rocks is a beautiful addition to the Positano party scene, and this lively nightclub is carved into the cliff face overlooking the ocean. What more could you want than trendy DJ sets and stunning ocean views?
This is one of the coolest places in town, if not the coolest. And if you want to win some brownie points amongst friends, this is the perfect drinking hole to pull out the bag. Music on the Rocks parties hard until dawn every night of the week. The motivation to stay up until sunrise will also have some extra oomph, considering you’ll be watching the sun rise over the ocean.
If you plan a night out in Positano, this is the leading club you should know about. While Positano is full of cute bars and beach clubs, Music on the Rocks stands out due to its cliffside location and beautiful views. It is a brilliant addition to your Positano trip.
13. Laurito Beach
Do you want a private beach experience? That’s where Laurito Beach comes in. This spot belongs to TREVILLE Beach Club, a hotel just a 10-minute drive east of Positano along the Amalfi coastline. You can book to stay here if you are okay with staying just outside of Positano, which is one way of accessing the beach. But another way to access it is by visiting the restaurant on the beach – Ristorante Da Adolfo Di Bella.
You can book a boat to take you to the restaurant and back when you finish. Dining at the restaurant gives you access to beautiful, exclusive Laurito Beach. This is one of the best things to do in Positano if you want to go where the crowds don’t usually go.
This beach is typical of the Amalfi region, with volcanic, dark gray sand contrasting its light blue waters beautifully. For a little bit of novelty, there’s nothing quite like an excursion to a private beach, and dining at Da Adolfo is equally memorable. You can bag seats overlooking the ocean and a sublime seafood menu. You can try everything from mussels in a fragrant tomato-based sauce to chargrilled octopus and grilled sardines. It is worth visiting just for the food alone.
14. Fornillo Beach
Fornillo Beach is the smaller Positano beach. Think of a more intimate setting, with a backdrop of scenic cliffs and plant life rather than rows and rows of sparkling houses and shops. The beach feels separate from the chaos that occasionally defines Positano, especially in peak seasons. For a more secluded feel, visiting this beach is a definite win. This beach is a classic of the region, with dark gray sand thanks to all the volcanic action of the centuries. Just be prepared for some long flights of steps to get down to the sands and waterfront from the top of the cliffs.
The beach has few facilities, despite its smaller size and more secluded aesthetic. You can enjoy a handful of restaurants that open straight out onto the sands. Dining with ocean views hits differently, and you should treat yourself to at least a small snack just for the dining experience. There’s also a kayak rental store in case you want to get more adventurous than just a quick swim.
Getting to the beach is a quick 15-minute walk from Positano town center. It is only 800 meters out of all the main shopping areas. Positano is small, so you don’t have to spend long to get to a more secluded area.
15. Hike the Le Tese di Positano
Hiking the Tese di Positano is one of the most challenging things to do in Positano, so if you struggled hiking down to Fornillo Beach, forget this. For those with a bit of grit and moderate fitness, this hiking trail treats you to some of the most gorgeous views you can find.
Le Tese di Positano takes approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes to complete and finishes in the mountain-top town of Santa Maria del Castello. Zigzagging up through the flora-covered mountain landscape, you meet some hundred stairs – protected from the sheer drop by some admittedly photogenic, rustic-looking wooden railing. It is stunning to gaze down on Positano below, and you’ll get a different perspective of the town and this beautiful section of coastline.
When you finish, you’ll be in Santa Maria del Castello, where you can stop at Ristorante Zi Peppe, one of the best restaurants in the area for traditional cuisine. There’s also the Belvedere Santa Maria del Castello viewing point. This unmarked grassy verge marks a perfect place to get the ‘money shot’, with the expanse of ocean spreading out before you and the chiseled peaks of grey mountains to your flanks. Le Tese di Positano might be challenging, but it is beautiful.
16. Hike the Path of the Gods
Speaking of hiking trails, the Path of Gods is one of the top Positano attractions. If you don’t mind venturing a little further afield, it is one of the best things to do in Positano. Forget planning only beach activities; the Amalfi Coast comes into its own with hiking activities.
Nocelle is where the Path of the Gods starts, and the 5-mile-long trail finishes in the small town of Praiano. You hike the trail one-way before catching the 5070 bus back to Positano from Praiano in 30 minutes. That is unless you fancy walking 10 miles daily to leave a car in Nocelle and treat it as an out-and-back trail.
The Path of the Gods is an ancient mule route, meaning it was used for centuries by old settlers. You trek along the clifftops, peering down at the towns and coastline below and occasionally stopping to admire archeological remains. Regardless of whether you are an experienced hiker, the Path of the Gods is possible to complete, at least one way.
Give yourself 3-4 hours to complete it as a single one-way trail, or 7-8 if you want to complete it as an out-and-back trail. This is one of the most famous trails in Italy and is widely adored for its stunning views of Amalfi. Bring a camera and refreshments because you won’t find anything en route.
17. Arienzo Beach Club
Arienzo Beach Club is something pretty special. If you love a party – and who doesn’t occasionally – this is absolutely the spot for you. The beach actually has a shuttle service that ferries partiers and beachgoers alike from Positano to the club, which is best accessed by water.
You’ll find cliff jumping, fancy cocktails, champagne, and traditional orange and white beach loungers. This club is somewhere you can head as a couple or with friends, and you’ll undoubtedly make new friends if you want to mingle. This is one of the top, most famous beach clubs in Positano and its surrounding area, so add this to your itinerary when visiting.
The complimentary shuttle leaves at 9:50 a.m. every morning, running throughout the day sporadically. You must make a reservation online and remember that this is popular, so you must do so in advance. However, basic packages include a sunbed, umbrella, towel, and meal with a main course and starter – not to mention a welcome bottle. This club is just a rite of passage in Positano and something you’ve got to experience. It has an exclusive appeal and a holiday-on-holiday vibe. The package-only options make it compulsory to treat yourself, which people seem to love.
18. Visit Vesuvius and Pompeii
A guide to the best things to do in Positano would only be complete after adding these essential day trips. Pompeii and Vesuvius are just an hour away from Positano by car, and the history of the AD 79 eruption is vital to understanding the backstory of the Amalfi Coast fully. From the color of its beaches to the ruins of the Roman villa in its town center, you need to face history when visiting Positano, just because of its continued traces today.
We’d recommend heading up to the crater rim of Vesuvius on an exhilarating 4WD tour and visiting the Pompeii Archaeological Park. Pompeii Archaeological Park is where you’ll find the preserved old town of Pompeii, which was covered by the ash of the nearby volcano and kept in near-perfect condition. The tragedy is terrifying and deeply saddening, especially when you see the remains of Roman citizens. However, it is also one of the greatest archeological finds in history, and it is responsible for telling us so much of what we know now about the Roman civilization. Take your time with this attraction and pack a lot of suncream and water because most of the park is exposed.
You can visit these sites independently or book a guided tour that includes transport from Positano. Some tours combine a visit to Pompeii Archeological Park and Vesuvius with a wine-tasting experience.
Things to do in Positano: FAQs
Now that you are up to scratch with things to do in Positano, it is essential to consider the practical stuff. These common FAQs should cover all the important things for you. So, you’ve got your itinerary inspiration. Let’s make your dream trip to Positano happen.
What is Positano best known for?
Positano is best known for its colorful buildings and beautiful cliffside location. It is joined to other Amalfi Coast towns by a snaking network of clifftop roads, with tiny pull-ins where tourists stop to ogle the view and purchase roadside lemon juice. People generally associate Positano with luxury and celebrity appeal/
Is Amalfi or Positano better?
Positano is smaller than Amalfi, but it has much prettier beaches. The Positano beach scene sways this decision, and we’d vote that you visit Positano over Amalfi.
Is 1 day in Positano enough?
One day is enough to see Positano if you are stuck for time. We’d recommend longer only because Positano is the sort of place that you should experience over a few days. The town’s atmosphere is based on slow-paced indulgence and relaxation – which you’ll struggle to embrace in just a day fully.
How long do you need for Positano?
Two to three days is the perfect amount of time to enjoy everything in Positano but also cherish some quality relaxation time.
How to Get to Positano
The easiest way to get to Positano is to fly into Naples International Airport and then book a private transfer straight to Positano. The journey is only 1.5 hours and is the quickest way to reach the town since it doesn’t have a nearby airport.
There is another way if you don’t fancy splurging on an Uber or taxi. You catch a bus to the Naples Maritime Station and then book a boat ride to Positano. The bus to Naples Maritime Station takes just 35 minutes from Naples International Airport, while the boat takes one hour and 10 minutes. This is the most adventurous way to get to Positano, and while you’ll need to arrange further transport to your hotel from Positano’s port, it is brilliant as you get a free boat trip. On your way there, you’ll see a beautiful section of the Amalfi Coast from the ocean. A boat trip is an ideal way to start your trip to Positano.
Lastly, you could fly into one of Rome’s two airports. This is the best way to combine a chance to visit Positano with a city break in the capital. Spend a few days in Rome and then rent a car (or book a private transfer) to travel 3.5 hours to Positano. Renting a car is also handy for taking day trips from Positano and visiting nearby attractions like Pompeii and Vesuvius.
Where to Stay in Positano
The Sorrento Coast is stunning when finding accommodation, and you’ll find luxe hotels – often with expansive views of the Mediterranean Sea or a private beach. These three hotels are the best choices when it comes to where to stay in Positano:
Hotel Palazzo Murat
Hotel Palazzo Murat is a gorgeous 18th-century building with beautifully landscaped gardens and plunge pools overlooking the ocean. Just 250 meters from the beach, it is one of the Amalfi Coast’s most well-located and luxurious hotels.
Hostel Brikette is where to stay on a budget in Positano without compromising quality. This stunning hostel has a bright white decor theme and a beautiful terrace with town and sea views. You can pick from several dormitory rooms and even enjoy a complimentary shuttle to Positano’s nightlife district.
Hotel Villa Franca
Hotel Villa Franca is a stunning luxury hotel in Positano. The 5-star property has a gorgeous outdoor rooftop pool with almost 360-degree views of the town and its scenery. It offers free shuttles into the town center and a full-service spa for ultimate indulgence. You can see why it is so popular.
Make sure to check out our dedicated article on the Best Places to Stay in Positano for more suggestions.
Best Positano Restaurants
If you are looking for the best restaurants in Positano, look no further. Positano is a gem for fine dining and seafood dishes. Whether you want fine dining or a casual restaurant experience, these best restaurants are ideal.
Da Gabrisa Restaurant
Da Gabrisa Restaurant is a beautiful fine-dining restaurant serving delicious pasta dishes and seafood. You can book a sublime table on an airy terrace overlooking the sea, which is highly sought-after for sunset dining times. The centrally located restaurant is just a short walk from Positano Beach and its beach clubs.
Ristorante Zi Peppe
Ristorante Zi Peppe is an ultra-traditional family-run restaurant set above Positano amongst the foot slopes of the mountains. You’ll find classic decor and hearty dishes, perfect for embracing authentic Italian cuisine.
Ristorante da Costantino
Ristorante da Costantino, another traditional spot to eat, specializes in seafood dishes and overlooks the ocean and Amalfi Coast. Its hilltop setting means you get expansive views over Positano and is ideal if you want to experience ‘more’ of Positano.
Best Positano Beaches and Beach Clubs
Ready to experience the best of Positano’s beaches and beach clubs? It’s no wonder as beaches and clubs are the best things to do in Positano. Let’s start with beaches first; these are the top beaches to visit in Positano:
Spiaggia di Positano
This is the main beach in Positano. The large and lively beach is full of life and stunning at dusk when the twinkling lights of Positano town set a beautiful backdrop. This is the beach you’ll see while enjoying the Positano town center.
Fornillo Beach is the more intimate, small beach in Positano. You’ll find a bathhouse and lounge chairs and just a single restaurant. Be prepared for a pretty demanding flight of stairs, but your efforts will be well rewarded with
Arienzo is the furthest beach away from Positano but has a regular boat tour that shuttles people to the iconic Arienzo Beach Club. This club comes to life with a DJ and champagne popping. This is more of a party beach.
This club is the classic choice, as we’ve mentioned above. Expect pumping music from the DJ booth, luxe cabanas, and sun chairs to kick back on and socialize. There’s even a regular boat tour running from Positano to Arienzo Beach.
This fantastic club has glowing reviews and a list of delicious alcoholic beverages. You’ll have groovy music, purple-blue lighting, and comfy oceanfront seating – all the ingredients for a fabulous night out.
Pupetto is a beautiful place to party on the sand. Sun loungers and a beach bar are within easy walking distance of the Positano town center. You can just pull up a beach chair and vibe with your friends amidst music.
Best Time to Visit Positano
The best time to visit Positano is a shoulder season. This is either April and May or September and October – all these months have high temperatures but fewer crowds and cheaper hotels and excursions. The best time to visit Positano may vary if you want to embrace its party culture, though, which only really starts to kick off in the summer months reliably. If partying is one of the things to do in Positano that you are most excited about, then consider visiting closer to peak periods. This will ensure a fun and lively Positano, not just a sleepy and glitzy Positano.
Italy’s Amalfi Coast has so much to do and see. When you visit Positano, you get the best of this, with attractions like Music on the Rocks, the Marina Grande, and trips along the Amalfi Coast. You also have day trips like visits to Capri – which has tons of its own best things to do. It is impossible not to love colorful and glitzy Positano, and the town has an old-school feel of class and luxury.
Regardless of whether you book a beach club spot, boat tours, or hiking trails, you’ll have a wonderful time. Even just the number of beautiful beaches guarantees entertainment. You can book a private tour, or day trip, or explore hidden gems on foot; exploring Positano things to do is an absolute joy.
Are you looking for more Positano inspiration? Check out our guide on where to stay in Positano. This guide tells you all you need to know about the best neighborhoods and restaurants to choose from. Have a browse and pick your dream match. You’ve got to have the perfect base to truly enjoy even the best list of things to do in Positano, right? Have an incredible stay. As John Steinbeck said, “Positano bites deep”, and there’s no doubt you’ll be planning a return trip.