Where to stay in Amalfi Coast first time: 9 Best areas and towns

Wondering where to stay in Amalfi Coast first time? In this post, I will share with you what I believe are the best areas to stay in Amalfi Coast for first-time visitors along with a helpul map. I’ll also recommend the best hotels for various budgets.

The Amalfi Coast is a popular tourist destination located in southern Italy. It is a stretch of coastline on the southern side of the Sorrentine Peninsula, in the Campania region. 

It is known for its stunning natural beauty, picturesque cliffside villages, and scenic views of the Mediterranean Sea. It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. 

The Amalfi Coast offers a range of beautiful towns for first-timers. Whether you seek vibrant nightlife, picturesque beaches, or cultural delights, Amalfi Coast has it all!

Where to stay in Amalfi Coast first time?

The best areas to stay in Amalfi Coast for first-time visitors are Positano, Amalfi, Sorrento, Ravello, Salerno, Praiano, Maiori and Minori, Vietri sul Mare, and Furore. These are the most popular towns on Amalfi Coast that offer plenty of things to do and see for tourists.

Positano is perfect for luxury seekers, Amalfi town is ideal for a central location. Ravello suits those seeking tranquility, and Sorrento is great for easy access to the region. Also, book your accommodations well in advance to have the best deals, especially during the peak tourist season.

During my trip to Amalfi Coast, I stayed at Alcione Residence. It has a great location in the heart of Positano, close to everything. It was a 10 mins walk uphill from the ferry port, and close to the bus stop. The views from the balcony were breathtaking. The room was spacious and comfortable.

Overviews of the best towns to stay in Amalfi Coast first time

Here is an overview of recommended areas:

Positanois one of the most popular and iconic towns on the Amalfi Coast. It boasts colorful cliffside buildings, narrow streets, and stunning views of the sea. It offers a luxurious atmosphere, boutique shops, and excellent dining options.
Amalfiis the namesake of the coast, located in the middle of the coast and has excellent connection on ferry and bus. It has a charming historical center, beautiful beaches, and a vibrant atmosphere. Accommodation here is cheaper compared to Positano.
SorrentoWhile not technically on the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento is a great base for exploring the area. It offers easy access to popular Pompeii and Capri. Sorrento has a lively atmosphere, stunning views, and cheaper compared to towns on the Amalfi Coast.
RavelloPerched high above the coast, Ravello is known for its stunning gardens and breathtaking views. It offers a peaceful and romantic setting, with beautiful villas, charming streets, and the famous Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo gardens.
Salernoa vibrant city with a historic center, beautiful promenade, and lively nightlife. It offers a more authentic Italian experience and is ideal for those wanting to explore a less touristy area while still having access to the coast’s beauty.
PraianoSituated between Positano and Amalfi, Praiano is a quieter and less crowded option. It has a laid-back atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and stunning views. Don’t miss the Path of the Gods, a scenic hiking trail nearby.
These neighboring towns offer a more relaxed and family-friendly atmosphere. Maiori has the longest beach on the coast, while Minori is known for its Roman Villa and lemon groves.
Vietri sul MareLocated at the easternmost part of the Amalfi Coast, Vietri sul Mare is famous for its ceramics. It has a picturesque beach, colorful houses, and a quieter atmosphere compared to the more touristy towns.
FuroreFurore is a hidden gem nestled between Amalfi and Praiano. It offers a tranquil setting, stunning views of the coast, and the famous Furore Fjord. It’s a great option for those seeking a peaceful and off-the-beaten-path experience.
Map best areas to stay in Amalfi Coast first time
Map best areas to stay in Amalfi Coast first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Amalfi Coast for first-timers. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Amalfi Coast have been carefully selected by me from well-known booking sites such as booking.com, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. 

If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

9 Best areas to stay in Amalfi Coast first time:

1. Positano

Positano is the most popular area to stay in Amalfi Coast for first-timers. It is a picturesque village built into the cliffs overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, known for its colorful houses, narrow streets, and stunning views. It offers a unique and romantic atmosphere that attracts many visitors

Staying in Positano allows you to be located in a central location, well-connected to public transportation, and to experience the charm of the Amalfi Coast.

From Positano, you can also easily explore other towns such as Amalfi, Ravello, and Sorrento by bus. Additionally, during peak season, there are ferry services from its harbor to Capri, Praiano, Amalfi, Sorrento, Naples, or Salerno.

The town has a vibrant and lively atmosphere. Its bustling streets are filled with boutique shops, local handicrafts, and a variety of wonderful restaurants, bars, cafes with outdoor seating. You can immerse yourself in the lively Italian coastal culture and enjoy the buzzing ambiance.

There are numerous cultural attractions including the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, which has a distinctive tiled dome, and the MAR Positano Villa Romana Archaeological Museum next to it.

Positano offers beautiful beaches where you can relax and soak up the sun. The main beach, Spiaggia Grande, is a big pebble beach with sun loungers and umbrellas for rent. There’s also Fornillo Beach, a smaller and more secluded option.

But, keep in mind that Positano is built on a steep hillside, which means navigating the town involves walking up and down stairs and steep streets. While this adds to the town’s unique charm, it might pose challenges for individuals with mobility issues or those who prefer flatter terrain.

In addition, Positano tends to be on the pricier side compared to other towns along the Amalfi Coast. Accommodation, dining, and shopping options can be more expensive here.

Furthermore, If you plan to rent a car, parking can be a challenge in Positano. The town has limited parking spaces, and they can be expensive. It’s generally recommended to rely on public transportation or private transfers.

As a popular tourist destination, it can get quite crowded, especially during the summer months. This popularity can lead to crowded streets, busy beaches, and higher prices for accommodations and dining.

Positano is best suited for couples and honeymooners, luxury travelers, beach enthusiasts, and active travelers who enjoy exploring on foot and are willing to tackle the hilly terrain.

Despite these potential disadvantages, many visitors find the overall experience of staying in Positano well worth it due to its unparalleled beauty and vibrant atmosphere. 

To avoid the staircase, you can book a hotel in the lower part of town, close to the beach and the harbor. The higher part of towns offer more beautiful views and numerous cheaper accommodations.

Best places to stay in Amalfi Coast in Positano first time:

  • Luxury: Covo Dei Saraceni, 5-star hotel, offering rooms with Mediterranean Sea views, located close to the ferry dock, and is only 20 m from the beach.
  • Mid-range: Albergo Miramare Positano, 4-star hotel with the view of the ocean and mountains, each guest room has a terrace or balcony with sea view.
  • Budget: Hotel Reginella, family-run hotel, located in the heart of Positano, only a 5-minute walk from Spiaggia delle Sirene beach.

2. Amalfi

Amalfi Town along with Positano, is the most popular town on the Amalfi Coast. It is located in the middle of the Amalfi Coast and is well-connected to public transportation, including ferry and bus, making it a convenient base for exploring the entire region, even without a car.

Unlike some other towns along the coast that may have steep and challenging terrain, Amalfi is relatively more accessible with a relatively flat town center. This can be more comfortable for those who might not be used to walking on hilly terrain.

Amalfi Town was once a powerful maritime republic and has a rich history. It offers historical attractions such as the Cathedral of Saint Andrew located in the Piazza del Duomo, as well as the Museum of Paper and the Cloister of Paradise.

The town of Amalfi offers a lively atmosphere with bustling streets, charming cafes, and local shops, providing a true taste of Italian coastal life.

Additionally, Amalfi Town is also home to beautiful beaches. Marina Grande and Lido Delle Sirene are popular choices, both located close to the town center.

Amalfi is an ideal starting point for several scenic hiking trails in the region. The famous Path of the Gods begins in Bomerano, a short distance from Amalfi. This trail offers breathtaking views of the coastline and is a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts.

Accommodation in Amalfi Town tends to be more affordable compared to Positano. You can find a range of options to suit different budgets.

Overall, Amalfi Town is a great choice for first-time visitors to the Amalfi Coast due to its central location, well-connected to public transportation, and range of amenities. 

Best places to stay in Amalfi first time:


3. Sorrento

Sorrento is a charming and picturesque town located on the Sorrentine Peninsula, overlooking the Bay of Naples. It offers a great base for exploring the Amalfi Coast and has several advantages for first-time travelers.

Sorrento along with Naples and Salerno is a major transportation hub of the Amalfi Coast. It is easy to reach by Circumvesuviana train from Naples, where you can find the region’s nearest international airport and train station.

Additionally, Sorrento is situated in a convenient location, making it easy to explore other popular destinations along the Amalfi Coast. It is well-connected by public transportation, including ferries and buses, allowing you to easily visit places like Positano, Amalfi, and Capri.

Furthermore, you can also easily take day trips to the famous Herculaneum, Pompeii, and Mount Vesuvius by trains from Sorrento.

Sorrento itself has a lively atmosphere. It has a picturesque historic center with narrow streets, beautiful architecture, and a vibrant dining and shopping scene. There are also several attractions to explore, such as the Piazza Tasso, Villa Comunale park, and the Cathedral of Sorrento.

There are a wide range of amenities, including various accommodation options, restaurants, shops, and services. Accommodation and dining here are often cheaper than other towns on the Amalfi Coast, so if you travel on a budget, it can be a great base to explore the region.

Perched on cliffs overlooking the Bay of Naples, it also offers stunning panoramic views of the sea and the surrounding coastline. Many hotels and restaurants offer picturesque vistas, creating a romantic and scenic atmosphere.

While Sorrento is well-connected, it is located at the northern end of the Amalfi Coast. This means that certain attractions on the southern end, such as the towns of Amalfi and Maiori, are a bit farther away and require a longer travel time.

Overall, Sorrento is a fantastic choice for first-time visitors to the Amalfi Coast if you want a budget-friendly area and easy day trips to many surrounding areas by public transportation.

Best places to stay in Amalfi Coast in Sorrento first time:


4. Ravello

Ravello is a small charming town, perched on a hilltop overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. It  is renowned for its breathtaking panoramic views, beautiful gardens, and historical villas.

Compared to some of the more popular towns like Amalfi and Positano, Ravello is relatively peaceful and less crowded. It offers a serene and relaxing atmosphere, making it ideal for those seeking a quieter vacation.

Ravello is home to several historic villas, gardens, and ancient churches, including Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone, which attract art and architecture enthusiasts.

The annual Ravello Festival, held from June to September, features a series of concerts and performances in beautiful outdoor venues, adding a unique cultural experience to your stay.

However, there are a few disadvantages to consider. Unlike some other towns along the Amalfi Coast, while Ravello offers stunning views, it doesn’t have direct access to beaches. You would need to travel down the hill to reach the coastline and the beach areas.

Ravello is situated high up on a hill, and reaching it may require navigating narrow, winding roads. Public transportation options can be limited, and parking can be a challenge. If you plan to explore the region extensively, you may need to rely on buses or taxis to travel to and from Ravello.

Overall, if you prioritize peace, romantic stay, cheaper accommodations, and a more laid-back ambiance, Ravello can be an excellent choice for your first visit to the Amalfi Coast.

Best places to stay in Amalfi Coast in Ravello first time:


5. Salerno

Salerno is located at the eastern end of the Amalfi Coast, making it a good starting point for exploring the region. It’s within easy reach of beautiful coastal towns like Amalfi, Ravello, and Positano, as well as other attractions such as the Pompeii archaeological site.

The town serves as a major transportation hub with excellent connections to other destinations. It has a train station with frequent services to Naples, Rome, and other cities, making it convenient for day trips or exploring the broader region.

Salerno tends to be more budget-friendly compared to other towns along the Amalfi Coast like Positano or Amalfi. Accommodations, dining, and shopping options in Salerno can often be more affordable, allowing you to stretch your budget further.

Salerno is a lively and authentic Italian city with a vibrant local atmosphere. It offers a chance to experience everyday Italian life and interact with locals, which can be a refreshing change from the tourist crowds often found in other towns along the coast.

While Salerno is well-connected to other towns along the Amalfi Coast, it is not located directly in the heart of the coast. If your primary goal is to experience the iconic Amalfi Coast towns like Positano or Amalfi, staying in Salerno means you’ll have to factor in travel time to reach these destinations.

Salerno, being a larger city, may not possess the same charming atmosphere as the smaller coastal towns. If you’re seeking the picturesque and postcard-worthy views that the Amalfi Coast is famous for, you might find Salerno to be less visually stunning.

Overall, Salerno is a great choice for those seeking a more budget-friendly and authentic experience, with convenient transportation connections to explore the region.

Best places to stay in Amalfi Coast in Salerno first time:


6. Praiano 

Praiano is a sleepy village conveniently located between Positano and Amalfi, making it a great base for exploring the Amalfi Coast. You can easily visit popular attractions like the Path of the Gods, Emerald Grotto, and the nearby towns.

Praiano offers stunning coastal views and is known for its picturesque landscapes. It is situated on a cliffside, providing breathtaking vistas of the Mediterranean Sea.

Compared to some of the more bustling towns like Positano and Amalfi, Praiano is relatively quiet and less crowded. If you prefer a more peaceful and laid-back atmosphere, Praiano can be a welcome retreat.

Praiano is known for its authentic charm and traditional Italian village atmosphere. It has retained its local character and offers visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture.

The village is home to several beautiful beaches, such as Marina di Praia and Gavitella Beach, which are great places for relaxation and sunbathing. Marina di Praia is a small pebbled shore surrounded by rugged cliffs.

Gavitella Beach is one of the best beaches on the coast to watch the sunset. It can be reached by walking down a long staircase from near the San Gennaro Square or taking a ferry ride from Marina di Praia beach.

If you value a more tranquil atmosphere, stunning views, and don’t mind the smaller size and limited amenities, Praiano can be a delightful choice.

Best places to stay in Amalfi Coast in Praiano first time:


7. Maiori and Minori   

Maiori and Minori are often known as the best areas to stay in Amalfi for families with young kids because they are quite flat and they have family-friendly beaches.

Maiori is known for its long sandy beach, making it a popular tourist destination, especially during the summer months. The town is characterized by its colorful houses, historic buildings, and charming streets. 

One of the notable landmarks in Maiori is the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria a Mare, which dates back to the 12th century. The town also offers beautiful views of the surrounding hills and the Mediterranean Sea.

Minori is a smaller town located next to Maiori. Like Maiori, it is known for its beautiful coastline and charming atmosphere. Minori is famous for its lemon groves, and it is often referred to as the “Land of Lemons.” 

The town’s economy has historically been based on the production of lemons, which are used to make the local specialty, limoncello. Visitors to Minori can enjoy the relaxing beach, explore the narrow streets lined with traditional houses, and visit the Roman Villa, a well-preserved archaeological site from the Roman era.

Overall, Maiori and Minori are great bases for a quieter atmosphere, close proximity to Amalfi, and beautiful long sandy beaches. Accommodations here are more affordable compared to Amalfi and Positano.

Best places to stay in Amalfi Coast in Maiori and Minori:


8. Vietri sul Mare

Vietri sul Mare is situated approximately 40 kilometers southeast of Naples. It is often considered the gateway to the Amalfi Coast, as it is the first town you encounter when traveling from Salerno.

The town is famous for its ceramics and pottery production, which dates back to the 15th century. Vietri ceramics are highly regarded for their intricate designs and vibrant colors. You can find shops and workshops where you can purchase these beautiful handmade ceramics.

Vietri sul Mare is less touristy compared to popular towns like Positano or Amalfi. It retains a more authentic, local feel, allowing visitors to experience the genuine charm of a traditional Italian coastal village.

As a less touristy destination, Vietri sul Mare generally offers more affordable accommodation options compared to the more popular towns along the coast. This can be an advantage for first-time visitors on a budget.

Best places to stay in Amalfi Coast in Vietri sul Mare first time:


9. Furore

Furore is a small town on the Amalfi Coast that often goes unnoticed by tourists compared to more popular Amalfi, Positano, and Ravello. But, Furore has its own unique charm and attractions.

It is situated in a deep fjord-like gorge, creating a stunning natural landscape with steep cliffs rising from the sea.

One of the highlights of Furore is the Fiordo di Furore, a hidden gem of the Amalfi Coast. It is a narrow inlet with a small beach and crystal-clear turquoise waters, surrounded by towering cliffs. The fjord is particularly popular among divers and cliff jumpers, as it offers excellent opportunities for these activities.

Furore is also known for its colorful murals that adorn the walls of the town. The Furore Art Walk is a famous attraction where you can explore the streets and alleys adorned with vibrant murals painted by local and international artists.

While Furore might be smaller and less crowded compared to other towns along the Amalfi Coast, it still offers a peaceful and authentic Italian experience

Overall, Furore is a hidden gem worth visiting on the Amalfi Coast, offering a serene and picturesque escape for travelers looking to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and tranquility of this stunning region.

Best places to stay in Amalfi Coast in Furore first time:


See more:

In conclusion, Positano, Amalfi, Sorrento, Ravello, Salerno, Praiano, Maiori and Minori, Vietri sul Mare, and Furore are the best places to stay in Amalfi Coast for first-time tourists. You can c onsider your preferences to find the best area suited to your needs on the Amalfi Coast.

Personally, when visiting Amalfi Coast, I stayed in Positano for 5 days, and I had a wonderful time in this town.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

Leave a Comment