Where to stay in Positano first time: 6 Best neighborhoods and hotels

Wondering where to stay in Positano? In this post, I will share with you what I believe are the best areas and neighborhoods to stay in Positano for visitors and the best hotels to stay in Posinatio for all budget travelers.

Positano is a picturesque coastal village located on the Amalfi Coast in southern Italy. It is known for its stunning cliffside views, colorful buildings, and beautiful beaches. Positano is a popular tourist destination and has been featured in numerous travel magazines and films.

The town is situated on a steep hillside, and its pastel-colored buildings cascade down towards the sparkling waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The picturesque landscape offers breathtaking views from every corner of the village.

Positano is home to several beautiful beaches, with the Spiaggia Grande being the main and largest one. Another famous beach is Fornillo, which is slightly more secluded and accessible via a short walk from the main area.

The village is renowned for its local boutiques and artisanal shops, offering a wide range of products, including handmade ceramics, fashionable clothing, and local delicacies.

Positano boasts a delightful culinary scene, with numerous restaurants serving traditional Italian dishes and fresh seafood. The local cuisine often includes regional specialties and is paired with excellent Italian wines.

The Church of Santa Maria Assunta is an iconic church that stands out with its majolica-tiled dome and is a significant landmark in Positano. Inside, visitors can admire valuable works of art.

Positano is a dream destination for many people. But, due to its popularity, it can get crowded during peak seasons. If you plan to visit, consider booking accommodation and activities well in advance to have a best deals and ensure a smooth experience.

Where to stay in Positano first time?

The best areas and neighborhoods to stay in Positano for visitors are Lower Positano, Upper Positano, Fornillo Beach, Arienzo Beach, Montepertuso, and Nocelle. The Amalfi Coast is known for its hilly terrain, so expect lots of stairs and walking regardless of where you stay.

Lower Positano, particularly the area around Via dei Mulin, is the best overall area for first-time visitors and those seeking a central location, great views, with easy access to the beach, major attractions, shops, restaurants, and nightlife without dealing with going up and down lots of stairs.

Upper Positano, particularly around Via Pasitea and Chiesa Nuova, suits those seeking stunning views, budget accommodations, and don’t mind climbing steep steps or taking shuttle buses to access the central area and beaches.

Fornillo Beach and Arienzo Beach offer a relaxed beach atmosphere compared to the central beach of Positano. Montepertuso and Nocelle are located higher above Positano, offering stunning views, catered to nature lovers, hikers and adventurers. 

Choosing the best area depends on individual preferences and interests, ensuring an unforgettable experience in this picturesque coastal town.

During my trip to Positano, I stayed at the beautiful Alcione Residence. It has a central location, within easy walking distance from the beach and tourist amenities. It was a 10 mins walk uphill from the ferry dock, and near the bus station. My room was lovely with stunning views.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Positano for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

map best areas to stay in Positano
map best areas to stay in Positano

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

All hotels in Positano have been carefully selected by me from well-known and secure 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.

6 Best neighborhoods & areas to stay in Positano for tourists:

1. Lower Positano

Lower Positano is the heart of Positano and is the best place to stay in Positano for visitors seeking convenient access to the beach and the town center with its shopping, dining, and sightseeing options without going up and down lots of stairs. You still have incredible views at every corner.

The lower part of Positano is where you’ll find the main beach, Spiaggia Grande, which is a popular spot for tourists to relax and enjoy the sun. The beach is lined with restaurants, cafes, and shops, making it a lively and bustling area during the tourist season.

The narrow, winding streets of the lower part of Positano are filled with boutique shops, art galleries, quaint cafés, and restaurants. Strolling through these charming streets, you can shop for limoncello liqueur, handmade pottery, leather sandals, and Moda Mare Positano style clothes.

You’ll also be located within walking distance from major attractions such as the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, Piazza dei Mulini, Piazza Flavio Gioia, and Archeological Museum of Positan.

Staying in the lower part of Positano offers an easy walk to the ferry port for a day trip to beautiful places such as Capri, Ravello, Amalfi, and Ischia.  

Due to its prime location, Lower Positano can be busy and crowded especially during peak tourist season. Accommodations here can be more expensive but it is well-worth it.

Best places to stay in Lower Positano:

  • Luxury ($$$): Le Sirenuse, 5-star hotel, centrally located in Positano, easy access to the beautiful beaches. It has an oyster bar, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and a free swimming pool. 
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Palazzo Murat, 4-star hotel, located in an elegant 18th-century building in Positano’s center, within easy walk from the beach. The hotel has a boat tour along the Amalfi Coast in summer.
  • Budget ($): Villa Dani, great holiday home in central Positano, located a short distance from Positano Spiaggia and Fornillo Beach, as well as theRoman Archeological Museum MAR.

2. Upper Positano

Upper Positano, let’s say the area around Chiesa Nuova and Via Pasitea, offers stunning views of the Mediterranean sea and more affordable accommodations compared to Lower Positano. 

Being further away from the nightlife of the town center and the beach means you can have a quiet and relaxing moment staying in the upper part. But the downside is you’ll have to travel down to the beach, either via trekking down through steep staircases or by local bus.

Upper Positano offers a range of accommodations, including boutique hotels and cozy bed-and-breakfasts, often with terraces or balconies that showcase the stunning views.

Best places to stay in Upper Positano:

  • Luxury ($$$): Hotel Villa Franca, 5-star hotel with stunning views of the sea and of Positano from its hilltop position. It is a 15 minutes’ walk or short shuttle ride from the town center and the beach.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Villa Gabrisa, 4-star hotel located in upper Positano and boasting unforgettable sea views. The view makes it all worthwhile. It is a 15-minute walk or a short bus ride to the beach and shopping area. 
  • Budget ($): Villa Fortuna, located in Upper part of Positano, offering stunning sea views.

3. Fornillo Beach

Fornillo Beach is known for its scenic beauty and relaxed atmosphere, making it a favorite spot for both locals and tourists. The beach is less crowded than Spiaggia Grande, providing a more peaceful and intimate setting for visitors to enjoy the sun and sea. 

It’s accessible by foot from Spiaggia Grande by heading west and walking the Via Positanesi d’America. You can also reach the beach via a short water taxi ride from the main port. If you book a sunbed and umbrella at a private beach, you can get a free shuttle from Spiaggia Grande.

The beach is surrounded by rocky cliffs and clear blue waters, making it a picturesque spot for sunbathing, swimming, and taking in the breathtaking views. It has large pebbles and rocks between shore and water, with two towers at the two ends, Torre del Fornillo and Torre Trasita. 

There are some beachside restaurants and bars where you can indulge in delicious Italian cuisine and refreshing beverages while admiring the coastal scenery.

Fornillo Beach is best suited for couples, families, and solo travelers seeking a relaxing beach vacation, away from the crowds, while still being located within walking distance to the main beach and town of Positano.

One note is that accommodations here are also cheaper compared to the central areas of Positano. You’ll find mid-range and budget-friendly guest houses, hotels, and B&Bs.

Best places to stay in Positano in Fornillo Beach:

  • Mid-range ($$): La Dolce Vita a Positano boutique hotel, great hotel, located on the seafront in a pedestrian area, right next to Fornillo Beach, and a 10-minute walk from the village. The Positano town center is a 12-minute walk away, or by a free water taxi.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Dimora Fornillo, great accommodation, located 600 meters from Positano Harbour.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Pupetto, 3-star hotel located directly on Fornillo Beach, one of the most reserved and quiet spots of the city. It is an easy walk from the center, where you can view the majolica tiles of the dome in the Santa Maria Assunta Church.

4. Arienzo Beach

Arienzo Beach is also an ideal location for those seeking beach vacation in Positano. It is a quieter location compared to the central Posinato, great for snorkeling.

Arienzo beach is a small bay with a free and private beach section. It is accessible by walking down 300 steps from state road 163 and by private shuttle.

The Arienzo Beach Club is a private beach with crystal-clear waters and a relaxed atmosphere. The beach club offers various beach loungers and umbrellas for rent, a restaurant serving delicious Mediterranean cuisine, and a beach bar offering refreshing drinks.

Arienzo is located within a short drive from Downtown Positano, easy access to the shops on Via Cristoforo Colombo and Nocelle for a hike on Path of the Gods.

Best places to stay in Positano in Arienzo Beach:

  • Luxury ($$$): Villa Treville, 5-star hotel, located on a cliff in the heart of the Amalfi Coast,  offering views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. It has direct access down to the beach via an elevator cut into the cliff, or marked walking trails.
  • Mid-range ($$): Casetta Arienzo, beachfront hotel, located within the Path of the Gods district in Positano, close to  Arienzo Beach, Fiumicello Beach and La Porta Beach.
  • Budget ($): Villa Pietra Santa, located on the seafront in Positano,  has a garden and a sun terrace. 

5. Montepertuso

Montepertuso is a small village located in the hills above Positano. The name “Montepertuso” translates to “Hole Mountain” in English, which comes from a local legend about Mount Gambera with a massive natural hole in it.

The village is known for its picturesque views of the Mediterranean Sea and the surrounding cliffs and is a favorite destination for travelers seeking a quieter and more traditional Italian experience compared to Positano’s bustling atmosphere.

Visitors can reach Montepertuso either by taking a scenic walk up the steep hills (via a 1,500-step stairway) from Lower Positano or by using local transportation.

Be sure to visit the Church of Santa Maria della Grazie and the Fontana Vecchia (Old Fountain)  for a glass of fresh drinking water.

Montepertuso offers a variety of charming restaurants, shops, and accommodations, and it serves as an excellent base for exploring the Amalfi Coast. The region is also known for its delicious cuisine, including fresh seafood and traditional Italian dishes.

Best places to stay in Positano in Montepertuso:

  • Mid-range ($$): La Dimora Di Nonna Angela, located on the hill of Positano, offering stunning views. Close to the bus stop, you can walk down to Positano and take the bus back to the accommodation. 
  • Mid-range ($$): Le Ghiande, Located on a hilltop position in the hamlet of Montepertuso and right above Positano. To reach the property you need to climb 100 steps. It is 3km from the lively center of Positano, and can be reached by a public bus stop nearby. 
  • Mid-range ($$): Petrea Lifestyle Suites, comfortable villa, stunning views.

6. Nocelle

Nocelle is a small, picturesque village situated on the Sorrentine Peninsula, high above Positano, offering stunning panoramic views of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Amalfi Coastline.

Nocelle is known for its tranquility and charm, making it a perfect escape from the more crowded and touristy areas along the Amalfi Coast. The village is characterized by narrow, winding streets, traditional stone houses, and terraced gardens adorned with lemon trees.

One of the highlights of Nocelle is the “Path of the Gods” or “Sentiero degli Dei,” a famous hiking trail that offers breathtaking vistas of the coast and connects Nocelle to Bomerano, another village in the region. This scenic path is favored by nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.

While Nocelle itself is a peaceful retreat, it’s relatively close to Positano. Visitors can easily access these more bustling areas for shopping, dining, and exploring the local culture.

Best places to stay in Positano in Nocelle:

  • Mid-range ($$): Villa Casola B&B, located along the famous Sentiero degli Dei panoramic footpath, offering a terrace with panoramic view of Positano Bay.
  • Mid-range ($$): Anna Apartment, stunning apartment, near the path of the God.
  • Mid-range ($$): La Borragine Rooms offer easy access to Path of the Gods.

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In conclusion, Lower Positano, Upper Positano, Fornillo Beach, Arienzo Beach, Montepertuso, and Nocelle are the best places to stay in Positano for visitors. Lower Positano is the best overall area for travelers wanting easy access to the beach, attractions, and amenities without hiking up and down hill.  

Upper Positano is best for visitors seeking stunning views, more affordable accommodations, and don’t mind walking up and down tons of steep stairs to the beach and town center.

Fornillo Beach and Arienzo Beach are best suited for couples and families looking for a relaxing vacation. Montepertuso and Nocelle offer stunning views, best suited for nature lovers and hikers who want to explore the scenic trails and experience a true retreat-like setting.

Keep in mind that Positano is built into a steep hillside, so be prepared for lots of stairs and uphill walking, regardless of where you stay. However, the views and charm of this Amalfi Coast gem make it all worth it.

I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful. If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

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.

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