The Best Things to Do in Positano, Italy

The Best Things to Do in Positano, Italy

Over the past year, I’ve received hundreds of messages from people asking me about the best things to do Positano, so this post is a loooong time coming. Like all of my recommendations, this is by no means comprehensive—but that being said, I did a TON of research before we went, so I think it represents a good overview of places that Matt & I experienced, as well as things we didn’t have time for (aka things I would have done if we were there for longer.)

Whether you’re planning your honeymoon or doing a bucket list-worthy girlfriends getaway, this guide will have you covered. 

It goes into detail about the restaurants we ate at, the hotels we stayed at, and other miscellaneous things you should know before planning your trip.


THE 10 BEST THINGS TO DO IN POSITANO

  1. Hit Marina Grande Beach. Easily the most vibrant of Positano’s beaches, Marina Grande is known for its signature orange and red striped umbrellas.
  2. Load up on lemon-centric souvenirs. You’ll find lemons just about everywhere in Positano (and the same goes for Capri) but if you’re looking for something special to bring home, don’t miss Sapori di Positano on Via dei Mulini. At the “Lemon Shop” you’ll find Limoncello, jams, biscuits, candies, chocolate, honey, bath and body products, and more.
  3. Eat ALL the pasta and pizza. More on the best restaurants in Positano below—and a note on the most overrated ones as well.
  4. Spend the afternoon at a beach club. Da Adolfo, located on Laurito Beach, is a gorgeous beachfront eatery and club where you can relax with an aperol spritz while sunbathing.
  5. Have a cocktail at sunset with a breathtaking view. One of the absolute best things I did in Positano was drinks at Franco’s in Le Sirenuse. More on that below (plus how to secure the best table!)
  6. Peruse the boutiques for caftans, linen dresses, and leather sandals. There’s no shortage of beachy boutiques in Positano, and you’ll want to check them out during your trip. For a high end curated selection, head to Emporio Sirenuse; for sandals, check out Safari (a teeny tiny shop); for dresses, I recommend Luisa Moda.
  7. Hike The Path of the Gods. “Sentiero degli Dei” is among the most iconic spots on the Amalfi Coast, for scenic vistas and endless photo opps.
  8. Take incredible photos. It’s nearly impossible to take a bad photo in Positano—even if you happen to be there during a torrential three-day downpour like I was!
  9. Go out on the town. Even if you’re not the “nightlife” type, I highly recommend checking out On the Rocks. We had THE BEST time there (more info on when to go below!)
  10. Have breakfast on a gorgeous hotel terrace. Even if booking a room at one of Positano’s swanky hotels is out of your price range, I’d recommend going for breakfast or brunch. A few of my recommended properties are mentioned below.

MORE: The Ultimate Guide to Santorini, Greece


TOP HOTELS IN POSITANO

First things first—they’re expensive. Like, really expensive. If you plan on going during peak season, you need to be OK with forking over a good chunk of change for a room…especially if you want a room with a view. (I would imagine that renting something through AirBnB or VRBO would be a more budget-friendly option, so if you’ve rented an awesome one, drop the name in the comments and I’ll link it here!)

Anyway, we stayed at a boutique called Villa Franca, which was gorgeous and chic and perfect for what we were looking for. Considering how pricey it was, I did think the room was small, but that’s pretty standard for Positano, and we were fine with it since we didn’t spend much time indoors.

Location-wise it was ideal and it had a stunning restaurant called Li Galli, which I would recommend for breakfast or dinner even if you’re not staying there.

As far as other properties: Le Sirenuse is the grande dame and with good reason. You should go for dinner or drinks (more on that below) even if you’re not staying here, just to snoop around and experience it. Sirenuse is also one of the most expensive (same goes for Il San Pietro and Villa TreVille) but if I was going on my honeymoon or looking to *really* splurge, I would have stayed at either of these three.

best restaurants in positano

Drooling over this bowl of spaghetti.


THE BEST RESTAURANTS & BARS IN POSITANO

People who have been to Positano have VERY strong opinions about restaurants. (If you need proof, check out the comments on this Instagram I posted asking for Positano restaurant recommendations.) Below is a list of places we went, and some that we didn’t get to, but came highly recommended.

Chez Black: People will either tell you it’s the MOST AMAZING place ever, or that they think it’s totally overhyped. I’m part of the latter camp. I personally don’t think it lives up to the buzz, and I’m glad we didn’t go here for dinner, BUT we did stop by for some pizza, appetizers, and rose one afternoon—which in my opinion, is really the move. It’s located right on the main drag of beach, so you can sit outside in the front and people watch for HOURS. The food was just OK (tbh I’ve had better pizza in New York) but I think it’s worth going for the experience. I just wouldn’t recommend spending a full-blown dinner here.

positano restaurant chez black review

Our meal at Chez Black. Good, not mind-blowing. Go for a pizza at lunch.

Next2: Italian / Mediterranean fusion. A bunch of people recommended it and we had a fab meal. Chic, modern vibe and lots of pretty people.

La Tagliata: Highly recommend. Super unique. It’s up in the mountains in an area called Montepertuso that’s a 20 minute drive or so from town, but the restaurant sends a van to pick you up. There’s no menu—they bring out whatever it is they decide to cook that day (but from what I’ve heard, it tends to be the same for the most part.) You get an insane amount of food and unlimited wine for around 40 euros per person (plus tip). My only piece of advice is that it’s not great for vegetarians or non-meat eaters, since most of the main courses are meat, and they won’t do substitutions. Reservations can be made via a form on their website or through your hotel.

Franco’s: I can not say enough good things about Franco’s—it was probably the highlight of our trip. It’s the new(ish) outdoor bar at Le Sireneuse, the fancy shmancy hotel mentioned above. You absolutely *must* go for sunset. They open at 6pm, but if you start hovering outside of the entrance a bit before 6pm, you’ll be one of the first people in and you can snag a table by the ledge, which is CRUCIAL. Also, it’s fairly small so the space fills up fast, and there ends up being a decent wait on most nights. Order an aperol spritz and eat as many giant green olives (truly the best I’ve ever had) and almonds as you can.

Aperol Spritz at Franco's

At Franco’s order the aperol spritz. Trust.

On the Rocks: I may not be a partier like I was in my early 20s, but you better believe I’m all about going to a club to check out the local scene when I’m visiting a new place for the first time. Enter: On the Rocks. As far as I know, it’s really the only “club” in Positano. And it’s sick! Basically it’s a club carved into the side of the mountain—hence the name “on the rocks.”

In true European fashion, it doesn’t get going until super late—I think we went on a Saturday after midnight, at like 12:30/12:45—and we had SO much fun. It’s eurotrashy in the best way possible. Things got slightly blurry for me toward the end, but I do recall confetti, smoke machines, tequila, and an amazing DJ. I’ll leave it at that. I read a bunch of reviews before we went and heard that the bouncers can be assholes at times, but I think if you look presentable and are polite, you should be fine. Can’t remember if we paid a cover or not. If we did, it was worth it.

Places that we didn’t get to (but TONS of people recommended): 

  • Da Vincenzo
  • Max
  • Conca del Sogno
  • La Sponda

RANDOM TIPS:

Don’t wear heels unless you’re taking a cab directly to or from dinner. The streets are cobblestone and there are a million steps (my thighs were literally so sore after three days I could barely walk.) On the bright side, you’ll burn off all of the carbs you eat by walking so much.

Expect it to be touristy. I think it’s important to realize before you go that Positano is a tourist-heavy destination. Don’t expect a super authentic local experience. The majority of the people around you aren’t locals—and that’s fine because it’s so gorg and chic! But just be mindful of it ahead of time.

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10 Comments

  1. Morgan w
    February 20, 2019 / 5:50 pm

    Hi! Thanks for the recs. Going for our honeymoon in soetember!

    I was wondering how many nights did you stay? And did you visit anywhere else on the Almafi Coast with deets you can share?

    • February 20, 2019 / 9:34 pm

      Love it! We did Positano for 3 nights and Capri for 2 nights. We looooved Capri and wish we had flipped it (2 in Positano, 3 in Capri.) People also say amazing things about Ravello, but we didn’t get there. After Amalfi we went to Lake Como for 3 nights!

      • Jordana G
        March 28, 2019 / 2:41 pm

        A little delayed here 🙂 Where did you stay in Capri?/Lake Como? Looking to do about the same trip!

        • April 6, 2019 / 10:10 pm

          In Capri we stayed at Capri Palace (Anacapri) – a little far from the center of town but SO beautiful. In Lake Como we stayed at Villa d’Este, but also checked out Grand Tremezzo, which looked amazing too!

  2. Amish
    February 21, 2019 / 6:15 am

    How have you heard Capri and Positano to be around September? Trying to avoid the summer crowds and rates 😊

    • February 22, 2019 / 11:01 pm

      We actually went the first week of September and it was amazing! I’d highly recommend it – even later in the month is great too.

  3. Blair
    April 24, 2019 / 8:13 pm

    Late to the game on this but love reading your posts! My husband and I are going at the end of August and doing Rome and the Amalfi Coast. Trying to decide if we should do more than one hotel in Amalfi and/or where to stay! So hard to decide on a location and a hotel. We are doing 3 nights in Rome and 4 nights in Amalfi. Any advice?!

    • May 6, 2019 / 5:07 pm

      You might want to consider doing 2 nights in Positano or Revello and 2 nights in Capri! That would be my recommendation.

  4. Nicole
    April 29, 2019 / 3:24 pm

    Sorry a little late to the game here! Planning a 6 day trip in late August – any day time beach recs for Positano and/or capri? Thinking of also doing a boat tour one day. I’m struggling to find reputable itineraries for inspo ugh so will take any advice you may have! 🙂 Thank you!!!

    • May 6, 2019 / 5:06 pm

      In Capri we spent a day at La Fontelina which I LOVED and would highly recommend. In Positano we would have gone to Conca del Sogno but it was raining! Def do a boat trip too.

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