In 1953, author John Steinbeck wrote, “Nearly always when you find a place as beautiful as Positano, your impulse is to conceal it.” Although I sometimes wish I could bottle Positano up and keep the city to myself, I want more for you to experience the immense magic of Positano, to truly immerse in la dolce vita and to witness the beauty for yourself first-hand. This complete itinerary with everything you need to know about how to spend 3 days in Positano will help you do just that!
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How To Get To Positano
Positano is certainly not the easiest city to get to, but it is certainly worth the travel. You will likely fly into the FCO airport in Rome. Then, from FCO, you have a few transportation options to Positano and the Amalfi Coast:
- Rent a car. Honestly, I would not recommend this option. Between the car rental, expensive tolls, high gas prices and hassle of parking, I would avoid renting a car. It may seem like the least stressful option, but trust me when I say that is is not any less stressful than the following options. We rented a car for our trip, and we will not be doing it again next time. Trust me, you’ll save money and headaches!
- Hire a private driver. Hiring a private driver from FCO to Positano has many perks. First, you will save time (direct drive, no stops, no searching for parking). Second, you won’t have to carry your suitcases up and down cobblestone stairs because you will be dropped off right outside your hotel. And third, you won’t have to think twice about driving stick-shift in a tiny car alongside Italian drivers. The only downside to hiring a private driver is that it is the most costly option. It would most likely a couple hundred euro per person.
- Take a train from FCO to Naples (Napoli), and then take a bus to Positano. This is by far the best option for transportation from FCO to Positano. Even though you will have to carry your luggage through train stations and bus stops, and even though it will take longer than a direct drive, it is by-far the most cost-effective and, therefore, popular alternative. We will be taking this route next time!
What To Pack For 3 Days In Positano
A few key items you won’t want to forget:
- Sunscreen (I recommend Neutrogena’s Clear Face oil-free sunscreen for sensitive, acne-prone skin).
- Sunglasses (I swear by my trendy and budget-friendly Zenni sunglasses for prescription and non-prescription shades).
- At least one dressy outfit (if not one dressy outfit per night).
- Loose linens and cool clothes (especially if you’re traveling in spring, summer or early fall).
- A swimsuit.
- Undergarments. (Don’t forget socks even though you’ll be on the coast. Hotel floors in Positano are typically tile, so your feet may get cold.)
- Beach flip flops or sandals (I love these cute, cheap and packable waterproof sandals from Old Navy).
- Comfortable walking shoes. (You’ll be climbing a lot of stairs. I always recommend these black Teva sandals or these white Nike Air Max sneakers.)
- A camera.
For a complete list of outfit ideas and what to wear in Positano, check out my other post: 17 Positano Outfits: What To Wear In Positano, Italy.
Where To Stay In Positano
It is true that Positano can be a pricey destination; however, it does not necessarily have to be pricey. There are accommodations available at every budget level. Some top picks include:
- Luxury hotels: Le Sirenuse or Hotel Poseidon.
- Budget accommodations: AirBnb.
- Luxury on a budget: Hotel Casa Albertina.
Most recommended overall: Hotel Casa Albertina (pictured below). You can find my full review of Hotel Casa Albertina here.
3 Days In Positano, Day 1: Exploring Positano Views, Shopping & Dinner At Chez Black
Because you’re likely exhausted from your previous day of travels, take a slow, relaxing morning. Although I wouldn’t necessarily advise sleeping in until noon, especially if you’re fighting jet lag, give yourself permission to bask in la dolce vita (the sweet life).
Hit snooze once or twice, enjoy a delicious Italian breakfast, sit on your balcony with a cappuccino in hand and stare at the Positano view before you. You’re in Positano, Italy. Take it in!
Afternoon (3 Days In Positano)
If you didn’t sleep in late enough to consider your breakfast as your lunch, grab a panini from a local deli. A panini should cost you less that five euro in Positano, which is a fantastic budget option for a filling meal. I suggest eating lunch at the delis every day if you want to save money. You shouldn’t get too sick of the caprese panini, but if you do, opt for a deli meatball or two.
After lunch, leisurely walk through the beautiful winding streets of Positano. Here, you will find numerous restaurants that you may want to try later in the week, locally owned shops with an endless array of Positano styled clothing (think lots of dressy linens and lemon patterns), hand-painted ceramics, yummy lemon treats and, of course, souvenirs.
I suggest starting your Positano city walk at the Da Vincenzo restaurant on Viale Pasitea and working your way downhill. This is where you will find all the best views, restaurants and shops. And, while you’re at Da Vincenzo, make late-night dinner reservations there for day 3.
As you arrive to the beach at the bottom of the hill (Spiaggia Grande), eat a touristy dinner right on the beach at Chez Black. Chez Black, a restaurant decked out in ship decor (pun intended), is an iconic Positano itinerary item that you won’t want to miss.
3 Days In Positano, Day 2: Beach Day, Vintage Car Photo Tour & Drinks At Franco’s
You deserve a full-on beach day! Put on your swimsuit and head to Spiaggia Grande, the main and most iconic beach in Positano. Arrive by 10:30 a.m. in order to get the best spot.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly beach day, lay out on your towel in the small public beach area next to to the marina. If you’re looking to completely emerge in relaxation with the best views of Positano, spend the 25-30 euro that it costs to rent a beach resort chair and umbrella (25 euro for second row, 30 euro for first row).
Afternoon (3 Days In Positano)
Continue to lounge…
If you chose to splurge on the beach club chairs, which I personally recommend doing, be sure to take advantage of the beach food service served right to your chair from Blu Bar for lunch and/or an afternoon snack.
Also, note that you’ll find the most Instagrammable view of Positano’s buildings at Spiaggia Grande. Don’t forget to snap a couple photos here!
Vintage Car Photo Tour Of Positano
Toward the late afternoon, head back to your hotel to shower and get ready for a super fun photoshoot.
The Positano aesthetic is full of pastel colored buildings, gorgeous ocean views and, naturally, vintage European cars. If you want to get priceless Amalfi Coast photos, book a photo tour with Positano Vintage Dream. This brother-owned vintage car rental company will drive you to the most photogenic spots in Positano and the surrounding areas in a vintage car of your choice (think colorful Fiats and classic Volkswagen convertibles). Although it’s a more costly Positano itinerary activity, capping at about 170 euro, this vintage car photoshoot will definitely be a trip highlight.
Aperitivo (Italian Happy Hour)
At the end of your photo tour, ask your guide to drop you off at Franco’s Bar for fancy sunset drinks.
Franco’s Bar is the most envied seasonal luxury bar on the Amalfi Coast. Attached to Le Sirenuse, one of Positano’s most upscale hotels, Franco’s boasts an immaculate sunset view of Positano. Furthermore, as you watch the sunset from arguably the most iconic viewpoint of the town, your taste buds will be praising the scrumptious drinks Franco’s has to offer. I personally recommend the non-alcoholic “Positano Tropicana.”
I suggest arriving to the bar front between 5:30 and 6:00 p.m. (17:30-18:00) if you can, because the sun sets early on the Amalfi Coast, and there will be a line to enter. This is how all of the Positano visitors that can’t afford to stay at Le Sirenuse experience the wealthy dolce vita.
Similarly, I must warn you about the hefty prices here. There is a 20 euro per person spending minimum, and all of the cocktails (and mocktails) cost at least 20 euro each. I’m certainly glad we went once for the experience, nonetheless.
After indulging at Franco’s, I suggest eating right up the street at Ristorante Bruno for dinner. Loved by the locals, Ristorante Bruno boasts an amazing menu of pasta, steak, fresh seafood from the same morning’s catch, as well as an unforgettable view of Positano.
FYI, Ristorante Bruno was so delicious that we went back twice during our stay. Our favorite dishes were the shrimp in lemon sauce, spaghetti with clams and mozzarella wrapped in meat.
3 Days In Positano, Day 3: Boating, Amalfi Town & Dinner At The Legendary Da Vincenzo
After a restful day two, venture out of Positano to Amalfi Town on day three. To quickly explain the difference between Positano, the Amalfi Coast and Amalfi, the term “Amalfi Coast” refers to the particular region of Italy, and Positano and Amalfi are two separate towns within the region.
With 3 days in Positano to spend, you will have more than enough time in your itinerary to visit Positano’s neighboring cities, such as Amalfi. It does take a while to arrive to Amalfi, so plan to depart from Positano around midmorning. The five modes of transportation to go from Positano to Amalfi are rental car (but parking is a huge hassle), taxi (around 60-70 euro), bus, private boat tour or ferry.
Taking a ferry from Positano will be the cheapest option, but I highly suggest taking a private group boat tour. Boat tour tents are set up all around the main beach, so you have plenty of options. I personally recommend the family-run Blue Star group boat tour. At the same price as a taxi, you will arrive to Amalfi faster, get a tour guide for the route and get to swim off the boat in the teal Mediterranean. Plus, there will only be 12 people maximum on the large, roomy boat.
Afternoon (3 Days In Positano)
Once you dock in Amalfi, you will have three hours to spend exploring the quaint Italian town. (Three hours is plenty of time to visit Amalfi in my opinion.) Grab a quick panini at a nearby deli and head to the beach just on the other side of the dock. There are benches just up the stairs from the beach to sit, eat, people watch and take in the Amalfi views.
Then, head straight into the city center across from the dock. Similar to Positano, there are plenty of shops to peruse. Keep walking down the street, and you’ll soon be met with the epic Duomo di Amalfi (Amalfi Cathedral) on your right-hand side. (If you don’t pass the cathedral within five minutes of walking, plug it into your GPS. It shouldn’t be far from you.) Wander around the outside of the church or explore the inside of the church courtyard for a small fee.
Then, you have a couple of options. You can either continue leisurely walking through Amalfi, perhaps picking up a fresh lemon sorbet, served inside a lemon. Or, you could tour the famous Amalfi paper mills located 15 minutes walking straight from the boat dock. You could also hitch a ride (via cab or bus) to the famous nearby town of Ravello if you would prefer.
If you chose to take the group boat tour, you will likely return to Positano just as the sun sets, which means you’ll get to watch your last Positano sunset from the water!
Upon return to Positano, either by boat or ferry, clean up and head to Da Vincenzo for your dinner reservations. It is important to reserve a table at this prestigious restaurant, as it is both Michelin-star-rated and enamored by locals, and, thus, quite popular.
Take In The Positano Views One Last Time
Once you have finished your inevitably delectable dinner, stroll down the beautiful winding streets of Positano once more.
As you walk, purchase any last minute souvenirs or lemon treats that you may desire. Walk down the streets back toward the beach, Spiaggia Grande. Because the view from Spiaggia Grande is so awe-inspiring, this itinerary includes a walk along the shoreline at dusk, too. Watching the lights flicker on all of the stacked buildings is truly remarkable — the perfect way to end your 3 days in Positano.
More Information For Your Trip To Positano
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Where To Stay In Positano, Italy, On A Budget
17 Positano Outfits: What To Wear In Positano, Italy
One Day In Positano: The Perfect Day-Trip Itinerary
Positano Itinerary: 5 Days In Positano, Italy (With Photos)
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