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An Efficient 3-day Amalfi Coast Itinerary for 2024

Europe   /   Italy   /   Ravello   Atrani   Amalfi           •••

For my 29th birthday, I booked a trip with my sister and my boyfriend to the Amalfi Coast, Italy – completely unaware I was on my way to Europe’s most expensive destination at the start of the high tourist season 😱 Is it my fault I was born in June, and therefore have to take ALL my birthday trips during high season? Still, I can’t say I intended to splurge on the world’s most expensive pasta or spontaneous boat tours while I was there. But I did. And it was worth it.

Whether you know about the Amalfi Coast from ancient Roman history, or from watching Under the Tuscan Sun, I’m the last to judge. It doesn’t matter because this slice of Italy is one of its most popular places to visit for a very. good. reason.

Read on for a detailed Amalfi Coast itinerary for 3 days, including where to stay on the Amalfi Coast, budget tips (and my most expensive mistakes), how to reach the Amalfi Coast from Naples, and loads of things to do while you’re here. I’ll also cover the best restaurants we ate at, because as we all know – when in Italy, throw your diet out the window, because it’s time for carbs 🍝 🍷

Atrani, Amalfi Coast
Atrani, Amalfi Coast, Italy
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Quick tips: What to book in advance on the Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is set for a surge of visitors this Summer as everyone gets back in the swing of traveling. And those of us who love Italy feel we’ve been away for far too long, and are set on returning as soon as possible.

The first time I went to the Amalfi Coast in 2019, it was already pretty packed despite June not being the highest month of travel. Travel demand in April this year are already 41% higher than they were pre-pandemic at the same time.

In short: traveling this Summer is going to be more intense than pre-Covid. Here are my suggested Amalfi Coast activities and services to book in advance (especially this year):

Amalfi Coast Boat Tour
1. Small Group Boat Tour from Sorrento #1 Must-Do Activity
Taking a boat tour along the Amalfi Coast was by far the highlight of our trip. You get to see the towns from a totally unique angle you just can't get from land. 10/10 worth the money, often SELLS OUT so do not procrastinate reserving your place, especially if traveling in a group.
Villa Cimbrone
2. Your Rental Car Book early this year
Experts say you should be booking your car 8-12 weeks in advance (!). I recommend booking cars in Italy via DiscoverCars (be sure to get insurance, this is Italy).
Pompeii guided tour
3. Pompeii Small Group Tour with an Archaeologist Skip the inevitable lines
Don't come to this area without visiting Pompeii, the location of the most famous volcanic eruption of all time. You will appreciate it 10x more with an archaeologist to explain everything (plus skip-the-line tickets are included).

How to spend 3 days on the Amalfi Coast: An itinerary

Three days is just enough to dip your toes in the water, as it were. This itinerary visits the three most famous towns on the Amalfi Coast: Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello. We’ll drive along Amalfi Drive, the road the winds around the coast and connects all these pretty places together. You might want to mix and match the order of these days depending on where you base yourself on the Amalfi Coast.

Day 1: Sorrento and Ravello


Sorrento is the first town on the Amalfi Coast you’ll pass through when driving from Naples, and the largest town. A lot of people opt to stay here and then make day trips along the coast. While not particularly picturesque compared to its little sisters, it’s worth getting out, stretching your legs, and potentially grabbing a bite to eat.

You can also get started with your shopping! One of the most popular things to buy on the Amalfi Coast is limoncello, a lemon-based liquor and popular Italian aperitif. If you behave better than the typical American tourist in Amalfi, you might just get a complimentary limoncello during your trip regardless 😏

Via San Cesareo, Sorrento, Italy
Via San Cesareo

One important thing about Sorrento is that it’s one of the few places on the coast that has a supermarket. If you’re looking to visit the Amalfi Coast on a budget, don’t miss stopping at the Conad and stocking up on snacks before you continue driving onwards! Even though it is a supermarket, it’s still really tiny by typical standards.

In terms of things to do in Sorrento, apart from shopping, you’ll also want to visit the Church of St. Francesco , look out over the marina, and perhaps grab lunch on the Piazza Tasso (more expensive owing to the central location, but easy to reach and plenty of covered parking lots nearby). Otherwise, if you’d like to stick to a budget, go down Corso Italia for something more moderately priced.

Sorrento, Italy
Sorrento, Italy


Unlike most of the towns on the Amalfi Coast, Ravello doesn’t have its center on the beach, but rather high up in the hills. When you look over the ledge on a Ravello balcony, you’ll see layered terraces where people are growing lemon and olive trees. Ravello is also a lot less crowded than Amalfi or Positano, making it a great place to base yourself if you don’t want to be elbow-to-elbow with fellow tourists.

Ravello, Amalfi Coast
Ravello's main square

Here are a few of the best things to do while you’re in Ravello.

Villa Cimbrone

Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo are the two most famous villas on the Amalfi Coast (besides those on Capri), and they’re both located in Ravello.

Villa Cimbrone dates back to at least the 11th century AD, and is most famous for its so-called “Infinity Terrace”, called the Terrazzo dell’lnfinito in Italian. There’s a specific balcony you can step onto and get perhaps the broadest panoramic view on the Amalfi Coast. What’s better, you can be surrounded by fabulous Roman busts who might just be keen on appearing in your selfie 😏

Villa Cimbrone
View from the Terrace of Infinity
Terrace of Infinity
View from the Terrace of Infinity

Apart from the Infinity Terrace, there are also expansive gardens to explore, which may be in bloom depending on the time of year you visit. You can learn more about the Villa Cimbrone gardens on their official website .

Opening hours and pricing: Villa Cimbrone’s gardens are open year round, from 9AM until sunset. Tickets cost 7€ with discounts for groups and children under the age of 12.

Terrace of Infinity
View from the Terrace of Infinity

Villa Rufolo

Villa Rufolo is the other famous villa in Ravello, most known for its manicured and colorful gardens. The views are similar to Villa Cimbrone, but the gardens are more compact and will take less time to traverse. You can also go into the museum, though it does involve a good amount of stairs. We missed visiting Villa Rufolo owing to limited time, but I’d love to check it out next time.

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    Day 2: Atrani and Amalfi

    Being based in Ravello, we decided to leave our parked car (too much of a pain to move it!) and take the 850 meter walk from Ravello to Antrani, and ultimately Amalfi. For the Americans, 850 meters is less than half a mile. Sounds easy, right? The important thing to know about this decision is that these 850m are PURE STAIRS. If you’re in better shape than me, you’ll probably just think it’s a good workout for your bum. But I was literally taking stairs backwards for the rest of the trip 😂

    If you don’t want to walk, you can also easily take the bus between Ravello, Atrani, and Amalfi. Be sure to check the schedule, and give yourself time to figure out where to buy tickets (you can’t buy them on the bus itself, but usually from a nearby shop offering SITA tickets). Most busses go about every half hour, but again, check the time table!

    TIP: In the Summer, you absolutely want to be packing water along with you, as well as drenching yourself in sunscreen. Good walking shoes are also a must! For more tips on what to pack, scroll down to my Amalfi Coast packing list.

    Atrani, Amalfi Coast
    Little did I know what was about to experience


    Atrani isn’t one of the main attractions on the Amalfi Coast per se, but it has a great stretch of beach and is a perfectly lovely place to catch some sun. It’s also really close to Amalfi, so there’s hardly a reason to pass it up. Probably the main things to do in Atrani include visiting the church, Church of San Salvatore de Birecto , a Byzantine-style church that dates back to 940 AD.

    Otherwise, the main area of Atrani is shaped like a C, with arches surrounding the beach from all sides. There are several beach bars you can stop at and down an Aperol Spritz (or, you know, water) and cool down in the shade.

    Atrani, Amalfi Coast, Italy
    Atrani, Italy

    The beach bar we ended up with had so much ice cold water, I’m pretty sure we drank about four liters of it between the three of us. The prices were surprisingly fair given how expensive the Amalfi Coast is on whole.

    Atrani, Amalfi Coast, Italy
    Atrani, Italy

    From Atrani, it’s possible to walk to Amalfi, or you can take a bus to get there. The walk is pretty easy to follow via Google Maps, so long as you keep an eye and make sure you’re still on the intended path. We had a little bit of backtracking to do, thanks to some wrong turns. The unfortunate part there is that since there are so many stairs, it feels like such a waste go up the wrong path and then have to come back down 😂

    Atrani, Amalfi Coast, Italy
    Atrani, Italy
    Amalfi, Italy
    The path to Amalfi from Atrani


    The eponymous Amalfi is quite a bit larger than Atrani, and is home to the most famous cathedral on the coast: Duomo di Sant’Andrea. This impressive church has multiple areas you can enter, which I’ll talk about later.

    In terms of walking around, there are some shopping streets where you’ll find sellers hawking more lemon-derived products, swimsuits and hats, olive oil, as well as ceramics. I’m pretty sure the ice cream I had in Amalfi is probably the most expensive ice cream of my life, costing something like 9€ each?! There’s a reason they call it Europe’s most expensive Summer destination – it’s definitely the ice cream.

    Amalfi, Italy
    Amalfi, Italy from a boat

    You can also walk along the promenade, where you’ll find plenty of private beaches and places to grab a drink in the shade. Amalfi is one of the pricer spots on the Amalfi Coast, so keep that in mind when you’re consuming food or drinks along the main tourist areas. Not just ice cream, though that’s expensive too.

    Amalfi, Italy
    Amalfi, Italy
    Amalfi Cathedral

    The Amalfi Cathedral, the Cathedral of St. Andrew, is one of the main draws of Amalfi. There are a number of different areas to visit inside the Cathedral, such as the main area of the cloister with all the reliquaries and statues and busts. You can also go deeper in the church and see the crypt, where the relics of St. Andrew are stored. There’s also an area called the Cloister of Paradise, which is an inner courtyard with a garden inside.

    Amalfi Cathedral

    If you’re a lady like me, and it’s hot as the sun outside, chances are you won’t be wearing the attire the Italians would like you to wear when you enter a church. Luckily that’s no issue as they provide paper scarves (first time I’ve seen this in Italy, I think? Usually they’re made of an inexpensive fabric). Of course, the men have are allowed to have bare shoulders 🙄

    Amalfi Cathedral

    You don’t need a ton of time to explore the Cathedral, perhaps 45 minutes depending on how much you like to read all the signs and examine the artifacts.

    Opening times: From March to June, the cathedral is open from 9AM to 6:45PM. From June to September, from 9AM to 7:45PM. And during the Winter, it has more limited hours, from 10:00-1:00, and then 2:30-4:30PM. You can learn more about the current hours on the Duomo di Sant'Andrea on TripAdvisor .

    Amalfi Cathedral
    7 Extremely Useful Amalfi Coast Budget Tips

    Dreaming of visiting Italy's stunning Amalfi Coast on a budget? Here are seven practical Amalfi Coast budget tips you can use to bring down the cost of your trip and still enjoy all the highlights!

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    Museum of Paper

    We didn’t get a chance to visit, but the Museo della Carta (or, the Museum of Paper) is one of the most popular things to do in Amalfi after visiting the Cathedral. Tickets are just 7€ per person to enter.

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      Day 3: Positano and boat tour


      If you’re driving yourself, you need to arrive in Positano early in order to get a parking spot. There is parking available outside the town, but you need to both arrive early and be OK with spending 20-30 minutes walking into town, depending on where you park (again, including stairs!).

      When we arrived around 11AM and still ended up using the paid parking deal offered to us by the team at Blue Star boat tours (20€ for parking for the whole day). It was a real journey to drive through town to reach the garage, for the privilege of parking it 😂

      Here are some of the best things to do while you visit Positano, one of the absolute most scenic towns on the Amalfi Coast.

      Take a boat tour

      Seeing the Amalfi Coast by boat feels like the ultimate luxury. We took private half-day tour, which was the perfect way to not only see the coastline by boat, but a few special places like Fiordo Di Furore and the Grotta dello Smeraldo . These are places you can only really see properly by boat, which also means they’re less busy than the rest of the Amalfi Coast.

      Fiordo Di Furore, Amalfi Coast
      Fiordo Di Furore

      Fiordo Di Furore , for example, is actually currently (as of 2019) not accessible by the pathway because of fear of falling rocks. Which means the only way you can properly access the area is by boat. Technically the beach itself is also closed, though we did see people swimming. Regardless, it’s a beautiful area to see from the water.

      Amalfi Coast boat tour
      Never let me drive a boat, I'm telling you
      Positano, Amalfi Coast
      Positano from the water
      Hike the Sentiero degli Dei (Path of the Gods)

      The Path of the Gods is considered one of the most beautiful hiking trails on the Amalfi Coast. Most people depart from Sorrento, and the hike itself takes about 4 hours. You get to see the Amalfi Coast from a perspective that frankly most tourists never get to see.

      The trail itself is easy to follow, so you don’t need a guide if you just want to enjoy a quiet hike. But if you’re like me, you could very well enjoy having a guide who can give you more information about the nature and civilization you’re traversing on this ancient path. You might just appreciate having some company, or if you’re traveling solo, you probably know that hiking alone is not safe!

      Check prices for a small-group guided hike along the Path of Gods that has a maximum of 8 participants and has a 4.9/5 rating based on almost 50 reviews.

      Visit the best beaches in Positano

      The most known beaches in Positano are the Spiaggia Grande (also referred to as Marina Grande ) and the Fornillo Beach . If you’re looking to take some of those famous Positano pictures, the former is probably where you want to be. The sand is VERY HOT so make sure you bring some sandals with you!

      Positano, Amalfi Coast
      Pop by the Delicatessen for lunch and a photo

      One of the most popular spots for a photo in Positano, if you’re gathering snaps for your instagram feed, you’ll pass this spot. If you’re hungry, Delicatessen actually offers an affordable lunch you can eat on the balcony in the middle of town.

      Positano, Amalfi Coast
      Buy a locally-made sun hat

      I bought my hat at Carpineto Positano . This hat shop is right along the Via Marina Grande. Outside you’ll see a number of less expensive hats, and inside they have more handmade hats. My hat wasn’t cheap (about $60) from real straw, and has an adjustable band inside which helps the hat stay on despite serious wind!

      Sun hats in Positano

      Where to eat on the Amalfi Coast

      La Tagliata, Positano

      Our experience eating at La Tagliata was pretty funny. One of my boyfriend’s colleagues recommended it to us, but when we arrived we were a little surprised to find that there were not only no prices, but also no menu at all. Cue panic? The restaurant is family-owned, and everything is home-made. Supposedly our server is the son of the chefs, and I’m just guessing that the surly-looking guy manning the barbecue is somebody’s uncle 😁

      You get several courses: fresh vegetables, bread, meat, potatoes, and a medley of desserts. It’s the kind of place you spend the entire evening eating, because it’s so much food you’ll have a hard time doing anything afterwards. The funnier thing was looking around the restaurant and seeing couples that weren’t struggling, and wondering how on earth they managed!

      Amalfi Coast restaurant
      La Tagliata

      At the end of everything, we learned the price: 45€ each. It includes multiple courses and unlimited drinks, including unlimited wine 😏 Frankly we were expecting it to cost a lot more, and ultimately felt like it was a great value.

      Amalfi Coast restaurant
      Homemade fries and house wine

      But perhaps the main draw of La Tagliata isn’t even the food, no matter how great it was. But take a look at this view over Positano:

      Amalfi Coast restaurant
      La Tagliata

      Make sure you reserve super early if you want a window seat! They are in limited supply, and easily the highlight of this restaurant. I would definitely go again, only I’d probably have to prepare myself specially in order to eat that much food 😂

      Ristorante Salvatore, Ravello

      Since Ravello was our home base, we tried a few different places in Ravello. The best was Ristorante Salvatore , which had an awesome traditional menu with an emphasis on seafood.

      Amalfi Coast seafood restaurant
      Ristorante Salvatore

      Next to Ristorante Salvatore is Pizzeria Salvatore, which we also tried. Their house special is a pizza with potato on it. It sounds weird. It is weird. But hey, when in Rome?

      Amalfi Coast pizza restaurant
      Pizzeria Salvatore

      Best time to visit the Amalfi Coast

      According to Fabio, our awesome boat tour guide, the Amalfi Coast shuts down for the most part after the end of September. While you can still visit, you may find a lot of the shops tend to take the Winter off. For that reason, visiting at the early shoulder season (May) or at the end of the season (mid-October) will grant you warm temperatures and lighter (but still moderate) crowds.

      For instance, boat tours typically stop running around mid-October because the sea becomes rougher and it’s harder to run tours on it.

      We visited in the middle of June, supposedly before the peak season in July and August, and towns like Positano were still completely packed with visitors, leading to bumper-to-bumper traffic and a whole lot of stress! That’s why, again, I don’t recommend renting a car and instead going for public transit and private transfer from the airport.

      In terms of weather, you should be aware that Summer is hot in Italy. Sun protection and ample water are both musts. Read on for more tips on what to pack for the Amalfi Coast in the Summer.

      Amalfi Coast in Summer

      What to pack for the Amalfi Coast

      The most important thing to remember is that the Southern Italian sun is INTENSE, so you want to make sure you’re both ready-to-sweat and also that you have proper sun protection. Makes sure you bring and regularly re-supply sunscreen!

      Buying a swimsuit on the Amalfi Coast will definitely cost you a pretty penny, but if you shop around you’ll be able to find something for around $70-80. Obviously you’ll save money if you come prepared!

      Here are a few essentials I’d recommend being sure you bring with you:

      • Sunscreen
      • Sun hat
      • Sunglasses
      • Swimsuit
      • Beach sandals
      • Hiking boots if you plan to hike
      • Summer hiking socks
      • Reusable water bottle
      • Shorts, tank tops, breezy dresses
      • Good walking shoes for all those stairs!
      Villa Cimbrone, Amalfi Coast

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      About the author

      Hi there! I'm Monica, an American expat living in Germany for over six years and using every opportunity to explore the world from my homebase in Berlin. My goal is to capture my memories in photos and posts that show how easy it is to start from scratch and travel the world by working abroad.

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