This post is all about how to visit the Amalfi Coast and Positano on a Budget.
One of the most common questions I get about Positano is how expensive it is to travel there. Positano is known as being a luxury travel destination and a playground for the rich and famous. Dotted with $1500 a night hotels and Michelin star restaurants, it may seem like it would be impossible to keep a reasonable budget while visiting Positano. So can you really visit Positano on a budget?
The answer is actually yes! You may not be sleeping in the same bed that Kylie Jenner or Beyonce slept in but you can totally visit Positano on a moderate budget if you plan a little bit in advance.
I’m going to break down exactly how to visit Positano on a budget and show you a few ways that you can cut your costs a bit!
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Accommodations in Positano on a Budget
Accommodation is one of the biggest budget-busters in Positano. Those beautiful hotels you see your favorite celebrities staying in will usually set you back at least $1,000 a night. The good news is that there ARE budget-friendly options in Positano if you book far enough in advance.
You can find decent options 3-4 months in advance if you are traveling in the shoulder seasons. However, if you’ll be visiting during the summer months, you’ll want to book your room a year in advance to lock in the best rate. Keep in mind that there are several types of accommodations to consider — Airbnbs, small boutique hotels, and larger luxury hotels. Look around on different booking sites to make sure you’re getting the best price possible!
Budget — $55-200
Positano has one hostel in the entire city. Hostel Brikette is conveniently located near a bus stop and several restaurants. They offer dorm and private rooms for an extremely reasonable price (for being in the heart of Positano). A regular dorm room usually runs about €50 per night and a private room costs around €160 per night. We stayed here when we were in Positano and while the location was great, the atmosphere was a little dull.
If you are traveling with a friend or a larger group, you may want to check out one of the smaller boutique hotels or Airbnbs in town. I’ve heard really good things about Venus Inn B&B. For less than $200/night you get a private room, shared terrace, and a free breakfast.
Airbnb often has really great deals if you book far enough in advance. Just be sure you check out where it’s located on the map — a lot of the seemingly good deals aren’t actually located in Positano. If you are new to Airbnb, you can get $55 off your first booking here!
Mid-Range — $250-600
If you are looking at hotels right in the center of town, this is the price range you should expect to pay. Here are some great options within this price range:
Hotel Eden Roc: An upscale hotel in a great location. Easy beach access and an outdoor swimming pool for guests.
Hotel Poseidon: Upscale, villa-style hotel with a beautiful terrace view, outdoor pool, and elegant rooms.
Casa Buonocore: A casual B&B with 8 well-decorated rooms, sea views, and free breakfast.
Luxury — $700-$2000
Looking to vacation like your favorite celebrity? Have insane amounts of cash to spare? You’ll find some of the most glamorous hotels with epic views and insane amenities at this price range.
Le Sirenuse: A favorite among celebrities. This hotel is seriously glamorous with a beautiful pool terrace, decadent Champagne & Oyster Bar, and a gorgeous outdoor cocktail bar. The picture above was taken from the balcony at Le Sirenuse.
Il San Pietro di Positano: Grass tennis courts, fitness retreats, and luxurious amenities make this property a favorite for celebrities like Mick Jagger and George Clooney.
Covo dei Saraceni: If the prime beach access and glam restaurants aren’t enough for you, this hotel also offers a private yacht to take you to remote coves around the coast.
Getting around Positano
Usually when I’m visiting a new place on a budget, I like to walk to save a little bit of money and see more of the town. Positano is one of those places that is almost impossible to walk everywhere in. The city is built into an extremely steep cliff and you will have to climb hundreds and hundreds of stairs to get to where you’re going.
The cheapest way to get around Positano is to take the local bus. There are several bus stops around town and each ride should only cost you around €1.20.
If you’re in the mood for a day trip to the other towns on the Amalfi coast, there are several cheap options to get you where you want to go. The quickest way to travel between towns is the ferry service. Tickets along the mainland cost around €14 and tickets to Capri will set you back about €20. You can also take the SITA bus from town to town. One-way tickets usually cost about €2.60. Just be aware that seats fill up quickly during the summer months, so be prepared to stand!
Where to Eat in Positano on a Budget
Ristorante C’era Una Volta: I’m not going to lie to you here — most of the restaurants in Positano are ridiculously overpriced and exceptionally mediocre. But there is one hidden gem of a restaurant that makes up for all of that disappointment. Across the street from Brikette Hostel is a taverna which has the most delicious, budget-friendly food around! Pasta and pizza costs about €7, a glass of wine will set you back €2.50 and the bruschetta (which was absolutely delicious) cost €3 for a whole plate! We seriously ate here for at least 3/4 of our meals in Positano. It’s that good!
La Zagara: This is the cutest little bakery located really close to Spiaggia Grande. Our go-to breakfast was a delicious pastry and a cheap soy latte to take down to the beach. Just remember — everything is cheaper if you take it to go or eat/drink it at the bar! You’ll pay a premium price if you want table service.
Collina Bakery: This is a not-so-hidden gem located close to the main beach and right by the main bus stop. The food is a little overpriced and it gets pretty crowded but it’s great for a quick breakfast or lunch on your way to the beach.
*Remember — the closer you are to the main beach, the more expensive the food will be. If you want a cheaper meal, head up the hill a little bit and you’ll find the same types of food for a few euros less!
Budget Activities in Positano
Hang out at the beach (FREE — unless you rent a chair). This is my favorite free activity for visiting Positano on a budget. There are two main beaches in Positano — Spiaggia Grande and Spiaggia del Fornillo. Both are gorgeous, but Spiaggia Grande is FAR more crowded and commercialized. If you want to avoid the intense midday heat and have the beach to yourself, get down there by 7:30-8:00 am. If you want to view the gorgeous hillsides all lit up, go for a sunset dip. Be aware that these are very rocky beaches and those rocks get f***ing HOT in the middle of the day in summer. We laid on our towels on top of the rocks and had burn marks on our stomachs for the rest of the day! Bring a few towels to layer on the ground if you want to avoid paying for a chair!
Walk around town (FREE). This may sound like a boring suggestion but a walk around town is NEVER boring when the views are as beautiful as Positano! Get lost wandering around the colorful buildings, up and down hidden staircases, and popping in and out of cute boutiques. Just make sure to pace yourself — the city is built on a huge cliff and my shins were unbelievably sore after a long day of walking up and down the hills. Oh and pack a giant bottle of water. Seriously. You’ll thank me later.
Day trip to other towns on the Amalfi Coast (€5.20 for the bus ticket). Yes, this may be a guide to visiting Positano on a budget. But there are so many incredible towns to visit on the Amalfi coast! Grab the SITA bus and head to Amalfi or Ravello to switch up the scenery a little bit!
Example Day in Positano on a Budget (in USD)
This was a pretty typical day for us in Positano:
Stay overnight in a dorm at Brikette Hostel or share a budget Airbnb with a few friends ($55). Wake up early and grab a pastry and espresso at La Zagara on your way down to the beach ($5). Spend your morning walking along the beach and through town, taking in the gorgeous views. For a quick lunch, grab a slice of pizza at Collina Bakery ($3.50) and then get back to sightseeing.
Take the bus back up to your accommodation ($1.50) and take a little afternoon nap to refresh. Head back down to the beach for sunset and enjoy a dip. Watch the sun disappear and the buildings start to light up while you float in the water — it’s seriously one of the most magical experiences.
End the night with a huge, cheap dinner at Ristorante C’era Una Volta where a pasta dish will set you back only about $10, and an entire pizza even less! You won’t even feel bad ordering that $3 Aperol Spritz!
Totals for the day: about $78 including accommodation!
Not too shabby for being in one of the most notoriously expensive vacation destinations! As you can see, it’s perfectly reasonable to visit Positano on a budget. Sure, you may not be living in total luxury. And you probably won’t run into the Kardashians in the hostel bar. But aren’t you there for those amazing (and FREE) views anyways?
This post was all about how to travel Positano on a budget.
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