15 Best Things To Do in Positano Italy
Last Updated on March 23, 2023 by Dana Berez
Things to do in Positano
Table of Contents
- 1 Things to do in Positano
- 1.1 Spiaggia Grande Beach
- 1.2 Fornillo Beach
- 1.3 Wander the Cobblestone Streets
- 1.4 Go to a Beach Club
- 1.5 Boat Tour along the Amalfi Coast
- 1.6 Rent a scooter
- 1.7 Shopping in Positano
- 1.8 Buy custom Leather Made Sandals
- 1.9 Take a cooking class
- 1.10 Wine Tasting
- 1.11 Dinner and drinks with a view
- 1.12 Hike the Path of Gods
- 1.13 Visit the Church of Maria Assunta
- 1.14 Music on the rocks
- 1.15 Take a Day Trip
- 1.16 When to Visit Positano?
If you ever wondered about the best things to do in Positano, you’ve come to the right place!
Positano Italy has that quintessential charm that swept me up the first time I visited in 2018. Now it’s one of the and become a place I visit every summer because I just can’t get enough.
From the jaw-dropping landscape, and narrow streets, to the incredible views of the sea, this Amalfi Coast destination should be seen at least once in your lifetime.
Even John Steinbeck famously wrote, “Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone”
Even though Positano is a popular vacation destination, it still has that small charm feel- and if you’re looking for a lengthy list of activities, Positano isn’t the place.
Instead, you’ll find some leisure activities like walking along the beachside promenade, dining at seaside restaurants, shopping at boutiques, and of course, dipping in the sea.
You can explore Positano in a day, but since it’s such an effort to get to, I’d recommend staying overnight for a few nights to take it all in.
And if you’re heading to Positano, be sure to check out my Positano Italy Travel Guide where I give all my best travel tips, and the best 15 Hotels in Positano with incredible views.
P.S. I aim to visit Positano and Italy every year, so be sure to check out my Instagram to see where I head next.
Now let’s get into the top things to do in Positano and the best places to see for a dreamy getaway.
Sorted in random order. This post uses affiliate links.
Spiaggia Grande Beach
A trip to Positano is not complete without a visit to the Spiaggia Grande.
The Spiaggia Grande is the largest and main beach in Positano and chances are you’ve seen plenty of photos of this iconic beach online. Lined with iconic striped parasols, here you can rent a beach chair and spend your whole day.
If you’re only in Positano for a few days, I’d definitely plan at least one beach day here to take in the incredible views, cool off in the blue sea, and eat your heart’s desire away with takeaway pizza!
While it may be a bit touristy, I don’t think you can beat the views and staring one of the most beautiful places in Italy all day long!
L’Incanto is the only operator to rent chairs and umbrellas at Spiaggia Grande. And they are a bit pricy (30 to 35 euros per chair) so I’d recommend picking the best weather day to splurge at the beach.
Note: The beach is made up of small rocks that get extremely hot in summer, rather than soft cool sand. Pack a pair of rubber sandals or water shoes if you plan on swimming- your feet will thank you
Plus the surrounding promenade lining the beach has beachfront restaurants like Chez Black and some shopping. From the Spiaggia Grande, you’ll be led to explore the rest of the town.
The best way to cool down in Positano is heading to the beach, so If you want to visit a more local beach, Fornillo Beach is a great choice with a laid-back vibe.
Fornillo beach is tucked away on the other side of Positano and can be reached by a 10-15 minute walk from Spiaggia Grande.
Fornillo has a more local vibe and is less expensive than Spiaggia Grande. Here you will find many vendors offering beach chairs, umbrellas, and beach restaurants.
My favorite place to get a beach chair in Fornillo is Da Ferdinando.
Now, if you don’t have time to enjoy a full day at the beach- be sure to at least grab lunch at Da Ferdinando Beach Restaurant. Filled with quirky decor, this casual seaside restaurant has great seafood pasta and their caesar salad with anchovies was surprisingly SO good!
This spot gets super busy during summer, so try to get a reservation ahead!
Wander the Cobblestone Streets
One of my favorite ways to explore a new place is to just wander. The beautiful streets of Positano are filled with small boutiques, restaurants, and gorgeous hotels lined with bright bougainvillea.
The great thing is that Positano is relativity small, and once you get out of the very crowded town square, you’ll find picturesque quiet alleyways- some with surprise views of the sea.
One thing that you’ll notice quickly while wandering the streets are many …. many stairs that make up the vertical village of Positano.
From the lowest point in Positano, the beach to the SITA bus stop Chiesa Nuova is 530 feet… or around 44 stories.
I literally had to google this fact for 30 minutes to be sure I wasn’t wrong! No wonder you won’t find any local gyms here!
So, yes there are stairs EVERYWHERE! If you start hiking up the steps, they may not end for a while. So you may be wondering, is it worth it? I say yes, what you’ll find the higher you walk up are even more gorgeous views, more restaurants, cute cats, shops, and everything is ready for you to discover.
Go to a Beach Club
Not only does Positano have its two popular beaches, the Spiaggia Grande and Fornillo Beach, but you could also spend a day at one of the beach clubs in Positano.
Located along the coast, these beach clubs are mostly only accessible by boat.
Typically, you’ll have lunch and relax on a sun chair afterward. Here are some beach clubs near Positano:
- Da Adolfo: This popular restaurant and beach club is known for delicious food and a relaxed environment. You’ll find a free boat to the beach from Positano if you have reservations. Reservations are only made by phone.
- Arienzo Beach Club: A relaxing beach club to get away from it all. You can book packages in advance to secure your spot and your free boat transfer to the beach.
- One Fire Beach: The most lively beach club out of the three. One Fire is located in Praiano and can be reached from the road or by a complementary boat from Positano. Expect fun music and an upbeat vibe.
Boat Tour along the Amalfi Coast
There is no better way to really see the Amalfi Coast than by a boat tour. There are a few companies that offer both private and group tours, but Bluestar Positano is the company I’d recommend for any boat excursion along the coast.
This family-run business has private boat tours, and group tours that show you the best of the beautiful Amalfi Coast. Plus nothing will beat the friendly service!
You’ll need to book this in advance as the summer season is the busiest time of the year.
Inquire about rates by filling out the online contact form.
Rent a scooter
If you are up for some adrenaline, why not rent a scooter and drive along the winding roads of the coast? This is not for the faint of heart as the coastline road bends and turns, but it will make a memorable experience.
Vespa rentals can cost 70€ to 100€ depending on the type of Vespa for a day rental. You can rent directly in Positano from Positano Rent a Scooter.
BUT if you know anything about driving on the Amalfi Coast, it can be nail-biting! Busses, cars, and passionate drivers can make your Vespa day turn into a regrettable experience.
So I HIGHLY suggest going for this vespa tour where you’ll be a passenger and you’ll be driven by a local! This is perfect for taking in the views rather than staying focused on the road!
You’ll have a local guide take you from Positano through the most photographic spots on the Amalfi Coast including Amalfi, Furore, and Ravelleo. Plus you’ll have time to stop and take photos and learn about the coast as you go.
Vespa Tour: Check pricing and availability.
Shopping in Positano
If you love shopping, then you’ll love shopping in Positano.
The streets of Positano are lined with boutique shops selling all kinds of gorgeous items from locally made clothing, to hand-painted ceramics, custom-made sandals, and lemon everything.
Things to buy in Positano are linen, ceramics, and custom-made sandals (more on that later)
Here are my favorite shops to check out when in Positano:
- Luisa Positano: Shop for ‘Moda Positano’ or Positano Style. Items are made of quality linen and are made in-house with gorgeous patterns, and styles. A must-stop by! Shop the styles here.
- Antica Sartoria: Fun bright Positano-styled pieces from white dresses to bold patterned outfits.
- Ceramica Assunta Positano: Hand-crafted and hand-painted ceramics made in Positano since 1948.
- Sapori e Profumi: For lemon things, candles, soaps, bags, & even homemade Limoncello.
- Casa E Bottega: This cute eatery & boutique sources locally made handcrafted items for its shop. You’ll find unique souvenirs here. I bought hand-printed linen kitchen towels and they are beautiful.
- Linomania: Handcrafted linen clothing. Linen and clothes are made in-house, and you can even get your item tailored or customized.
Buy custom Leather Made Sandals
Ever wanted to design your own pair of sandals? An iconic thing to do in Positano is to buy custom leather-made sandals.
You’ll see plenty of shops offering custom-made sandals, but I love the Pepe Positano shop.
You get to pick out the height of your heel, the color of the leather straps, and the leather strap design. Plus it’s all custom-made to the shape of your foot all made with quality leather.
This is such a memorable souvenir that you can wear and think about your vacation on the Amalfi Coast.
Take a cooking class
Get your inner chef on and learn from the locals how to cook local Italian Cuisine. Cooking classes are a great way to learn cooking skills and take those principles back home with you.
There are a few cooking classes you can take in Positano:
Bucca di Bacco: 2 hours long, starting at 3:30 afterward you taste what you prepared in class.
Pizza Cooking Experience: Learn how to make pizza in a family home
La Tagliata Cooking Class: Learn to make Italian specialties in a Villa with a view.
If wine is more your thing, have a wine tasting at Swirl the Glass!
These tastings are held during the evening before dinner at a local restaurant in Positano. It lasts around an hour and a half and includes a tasting technique and information about the wines.
This is a fun group activity to learn and taste wine in beautiful Positano.
The wine tastings are by reservation only. Fill out this contact form to get a quote!
Dinner and drinks with a view
There’s nothing like winding down after a day at the beach in Positano than having aperitvo and dinner with a view!
My personal favorite place to go is Il Tridente, a serene cocktail lounge and restaurant inside Hotel Poseidon on the large outdoor terrace that is unbelievably romantic.
On some nights you’ll find live music, and a beautiful setting to relax and unwind from the day. Service is top-notch and friendly, and I’ve been going every year since I’ve been to Positano.
After aperitivo drinks, head over to the restaurant terrace that’s covered with bright bougainvillea for a romantic evening. The menu offers traditional Neapolitan dishes only using local and fresh ingredients.
This restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner, and reservations are required.
P.S. Hotel Posideon is a stunning hotel to stay in Positano and I’ve included it in my Best Positano Hotels with a view.
Hike the Path of Gods
Positano has a great hiking trail called the Path of Gods (Il Sentiero Degli Dei, in Italian) is a panoramic cliffside path that boasts the most spectacular views of the Amalfi Coast.
If you enjoy combining nature and adventure, then hiking the Path of Gods is for you. This is a 2.5-3 hour hike that’s not too difficult and offers stunning views of the sea and Amalfi Coast.
The best way to hike the Path of the Gods is to start in Bomerano and end in Nocelle, the town highest above Positano. This route offers a slightly downhill hike and better views.
Unfortunately, to get to the trailhead start in Bomerano from Positano, you’ll have to take the SITA bus to Amalfi, then transfer to another bus in Amalfi to Bomerano.
This journey takes around 90 minutes, as there is no direct bus from Positano to Bomerano.
However, you could just start the Path of Gods trail hike from Nocelle, the town right above Positano in the hills. There is a direct mobility bus that runs through the town of Positano that can get you there easier than starting in Bomerano.
If you decide to start in Nocelle, you can walk the Path of Gods and end in Bomerano, or hike back the way you started.
Either way, you’ll have incredible views!
Pro Tip: Start your hike in the morning to avoid mid-day sun and heat. Plus wear appropriate hiking shoes. I love this brand for cute athletic shoes that will be perfect for any hike!
Visit the Church of Maria Assunta
The Church of Maria Assunta, the famous church that is on every Positano postcard, is right in the center of Positano, and chances are you’ll pass by it multiple times when you’re in Positano.
You can tour the inside of the Church of Santa Maria Assunta to see its gorgeous finishes, which was once a part of a Monastery and features a multi-colored dome.
Be sure to cover your shoulders as you enter the church, or you’ll have to wear a covering.
Music on the rocks
For all you late-night party people, Music on the Rocks is Positano’s only nightclub and it’s in a cave!
Located right next to the Spiaggia Grande, Music On the Rocks will leave you dancing the night away with its DJS.
I’ve actually never gone to Music on the Rocks on the 5 times I’ve been to Positano. The combination of the sun and stairs have been sleeping by 9 PM!
But if you end up going- be sure to let me know how it is! Heck, maybe you’ll even see me there next time I’m in Positano.
Take a Day Trip
If you are staying in Positano for a few days, I highly suggest taking a day trip to see more of what the Amalfi Coast and Capri have to offer.
Positano to Capri Day Trip
Capri is an iconic day trip choice and it’s easily reachable from Positano. The Isle of Capri has picturesque streets, beach clubs, luxury shopping, hiking trails, and incredible views.
Ferries from Positano leave in the morning and return back to Positano in the late afternoon. For more time in Capri, be sure to catch the first ferry out at 9:00 AM. The journey takes around 30 minutes.
The price per ferry ticket ranges from 20€ to 22.50€ each way. Tickets can be purchased right next to the ferry port in Positano.
If you want to arrive in style, there are private boats that can take you to Capri, but the journey does take much longer than the high-speed ferry.
Related: Day Trip to Capri, Italy: 9 Things To Do In Capri
Positano to Amalfi Day Trip
Another popular day trip option from Positano is visiting Amalfi.
Amalfi is the buzzing town that the Amalfi Coast is named after. Visit the Duomo Di Amalfi church, have a sweet treat at Pansa, and enjoy the scenery.
You can reach Amalfi by ferry or by the SITA bus. Going by ferry is a more scenic way to get to Amalfi, even though it costs more money. It’s like getting a mini-tour as you get to your destination.
Positano to Ravello Day Trip
Ravello is another popular choice to get away from the bustle of the Amalfi Coast. Situated high in the mountain, you’ll find serene gardens like Villa Rufolo & Villa Cimbrone and a quiet relaxing getaway.
Catch the SITA bus in Positano to Amalfi, then transfer in Amalfi to another bus to reach Ravello. The entire bus journey takes around 90 minutes.
Related: Things to do in Ravello
When to Visit Positano?
Positano has become increasingly popular year after year, and during the summertime, it is unbelievably crowded and hot.
The best time to visit for fewer crowds would be April- May. While the weather is still warming up during this time, you won’t have as many crowds as in the summer high months June-August.
September and October are also great months to visit with fewer crowds. Plus the weather has been warm through October so you won’t miss any beach days.
Avoid visiting Positano during the winter months. Most shops, restaurants, and hotels close down for the entire winter, and it’s cold!
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