Last Updated on October 26, 2023 by Ingrid & Alex
If you only have 3 days on the Amalfi Coast and think that’s not enough, no need to worry! While it is true that 3 days aren’t a lot and won’t give you enough time to see it all, there are still plenty to tick off your bucket list.
I’ve put together this itinerary to help you plan the perfect trip, understand where is the best place to stay, what not to miss, and much more. While I have visited the Amalfi Coast on 2 different occasions, I still haven’t seen it all.
The good news is that by following this well-organized itinerary, you will maximize your time there! Because I’ve learned from my mistakes and want you to make the best out of your vacation.
So, let’s dig right into it!
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Your perfect 3 days on the Amalfi Coast itinerary: What to do on the Amalfi Coast in 3 days
Day 1 – explore Positano
Day 2 – day trip to Capri Island
Day 3 – Ravello and other Amalfi Coast hidden gems
Where is the Amalfi Coast?
Set between Sorrento and Salerno, the Amalfi Coast is a 50-kilometer stretch of coastline along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula, in the Campania region.
In theory, the Amalfi Coast includes places like Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, Praiano, Atrani, Maiori, and Cetara. Capri island, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Mount Vesuvius, and Naples are not included on the Amalfi Coast. However, these places are often linked together and included on Amalfi Coast itineraries thanks to their proximity.
How to get to the Amalfi Coast?
That might be one of the most asked questions when it comes to traveling to the Amalfi Coast.
The nearest airport to the Amalfi Coast is Naples International Airport, set some 60 kilometers away from Positano.
Read here everything you must know for how to get from Naples to the Amalfi Coast. I have included all the options no matter if you want to rent a car, use public transportation, or rent a private transfer.
Should you drive on the Amalfi Coast?
While many people might try to discourage you, I think that driving on the Amalfi Coast could be an option. If I could do it, so can you!
That being said, if you only have 3 days on the Amalfi Coast and you spend one on Capri Island, renting a car might not be such a great idea.
If, however, you choose to do it, Discover Cars is a great aggregator that will help you find and book the best option for renting a car during your trip, helping you save up to 70% on your car rental.
Choose a hotel with free parking, visit outside of the peak season, and you won’t have problems driving around. I’ve gathered here a few other tips and tricks for driving on the Amalfi Coast, which you will surely find helpful.
However, it is worth knowing that during summer, traffic gets crazy, and finding a parking space is practically impossible. That’s why, when you visit during July or August, I strongly suggest choosing other means of transportation.
Where to stay on the Amalfi Coast?
I’m sure you are wondering where to spend 3 nights in Amalfi Coast. And if you’re anything like me, I know you’ve always dreamt about staying in Positano.
The small and colorful village, with villas perched on the hillside, a beach, and plenty of restaurants and terraces to choose from, Positano is also one of the most expensive destinations in Italy.
For those visiting the Amalfi Coast for their honeymoon, and not only, I have put together this guide for where to stay in Positano. You will find accommodation options for every budget, all offering great services and incredible views.
Maiori and Vietri are perfect for those looking to spend some time at the beach. Both villages have rather big beaches but don’t expect any sand.
Sorrento is another good option that will place you close to most of the top things to do and see on the Amalfi Coast. I’ve gathered here a list of apartment-style accommodation options for Sorrento that will help you make an informed choice.
Read also: Should you stay in Sorrento or Positano
How to get around when you don’t rent a car?
Sorrento is linked to Salerno by a bus line operated by SITA SUD bus.
You can buy tickets from any tabaccheria, and it’s better to ask the hotel’s reception or your host about it. The tickets cost 2 EUR one way, and you can also buy daily tickets.
My other favorite way of getting around on the Amalfi Coast is by boat.
Admiring the coastline from the water is something worth doing at least once during your 3 days on the Amalfi Coast.
Check out the bus timetables here and plan accordingly.
Day 1 – explore Positano
If you choose to stay outside of Positano, hop on the bus, car, or boat, and make your way to the charming village, early in the morning.
Take your time and explore every corner and every hidden street. Climb the stairs that will lead you from the port to the top of the hill, stop for a drink and lunch at one of the restaurants offering a breathtaking view, and stay for the night to see one of the most stunning sunsets there is.
Don’t miss Spiaggia Grande (the main beach in Positano), cocktails at Bar Franco for sunset, the heart-shaped pizza at Chez Black, or the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta with its yellow cupola. Go shopping for unique clothes or souvenirs to bring back home on the main street of Positano, and eat some delicious and refreshing lemon sorbet.
Check out my list of picture-perfect locations, and come prepared to take some of the most beautiful photos to hold as a lifelong memory.
You can even plan for a professional photo session and let a professional local photographer create a memory that will last forever.
Flytographer has been featured everywhere from The New York Times to Martha Stewart Weddings and has been called “The Future of Travel Photography” by Conde Nast Traveler and “The #1 Gift for Travelers” by Forbes.
They are a female-founded company, with an all-female team, that has over 3 million photos captured and over 10.000 5-star reviews!
Day 2 – day trip to Capri Island
The luxurious Capri Island is perfect for a day trip from Sorrento, Naples, or even Positano or Amalfi.
Spend less than one hour on the sea, and let yourself be seduced right from the moment you are approaching the stunning Marina Grande. There’s no wonder why many of the world-renown celebrities anchor their yachts here and choose to spend their vacations on the streets of Anacapri.
How to get to Capri?
The only way you can get to the island is by boat.
And there are 3 options to choose from:
Private tour – you will have the boat all to yourself and the group you are traveling with. The tour is split into 2: 4 hours by sea, exploring caves and admiring the stunning natural landscape, and 4 hours on the island. Book your small group private tour (up to 8 persons) here!
Organized tour – a much more affordable option, that will take you from Naples, Sorrento, or Positano to Capri Island in a bigger group. See more here!
By ferry – the cheapest option, with boats leaving from Naples, Sorrento, Positano, or Amalfi. Check out ferry schedules and prices here!
What to do in Capri
Read my complete guide to a day trip to Capri and plan your day!
Don’t miss Anacapri with its narrow chic streets, taking the chairlift to Solaro Mount, stopping for a drink at a bar or restaurant in the Piazzetta, or heading to Villa San Michele for a drink with a view.
Day 3 – Ravello and other Amalfi Coast hidden gems
Wake up, have a delicious breakfast with a strong coffee, and get ready for another unforgettable day on the Amalfi Coast.
Take the bus and head to Ravello, where you will spend a day between some of the most beautiful villas on the Riviera: Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo.
Villa Cimbrone dates back to the 11th century, is a luxurious boutique hotel, Michelin star restaurants, and an impressive botanical garden that is open to visitors daily from 9 AM until sunset. Most tourists come here for the famous Terrazza dell’Infinito – the panoramic belvedere point.
Virginia Woolf, Winston Churchill, Greta Garbo, and many more famous people have fallen in love throughout the years with Villa Cimbrone, so let yourself be seduced!
Villa Rufolo is a “younger” establishment dating from the 13th century, having been built by a wealthy family with the same name. With such a long history, the location is nowadays popular for its beautiful garden and breathtaking view over the Gulf of Salerno and the Amalfi Coast.
Once you’re done with Ravello, head back to the main road and explore Amalfi, with its magical Duomo, and Atrani – the authentic village with a small piazza and a handful of restaurants.
Other things worth doing on the Amalfi Coast
With so many things to do and see on the Amalfi Coast, you can always replace one of the suggested itineraries with something else.
If you have already been to some of the places I’ve included on my option of itinerary, here are some other things worth considering:
Climb the Path of Gods or the Sentiero dei limoni – both are easy hikes that will reward you with plenty of breathtaking views.
Visit the Fiordo del Furore, a UNESCO World Heritage site that will charm you with its natural beauty.
Spend some time at the beach – Maiori and Vietri have some of the best beaches on the Amalfi Coast, but there are plenty of hidden spots you can discover as well: Spiaggia di Cauco in Erchie, Spiaggia dei Limoni, Spiaggia Cavallo Morto, only to name a few.
Go on a day trip to Pompei, another UNESCO World Heritage site that you shouldn’t miss out on! Book your tour with an archeologist here!
Be part of a cooking class in Sorrento and learn how to make a traditional Italian meal. See more here!
Explore the vineyards and cellars of Amalfi, with lunch at a local farmhouse perched on top of a cliff. See more here!
When to go on the Amalfi Coast?
The Amalfi Coast is a destination worth seeing during any season. However, during winter many restaurants and hotels are closed, and the ferries and buses have a less frequent schedule.
I would also advise against visiting the Amalfi Coast during the peak season: July and August tend to get incredibly crowded. Moreover, prices soar and traffic is a nightmare.
The best time to visit the Amalfi Coast is by far during the shoulder season, no matter if you are heading there in spring or fall. April and May, followed by September and October will offer you the best temperatures, prices, and less crowded sights.
Option 2: Naples and Amalfi coast itinerary 3 days
If you want to see Naples and the Amalfi Coast in 3 days, that is absolutely doable. The easiest way would be to choose to stay in Naples, from here there are plenty of transportation options and tours to the most important things to see on the Amalfi Coast.
Day 1: Naples
For 4.5 EUR you can buy a daily ticket and you can get around the city by public transportation. You can follow this easy itinerary, but if you don’t have time to read the whole post here is your one-day in Naples itinerary in a nutshell:
Start your day in Piazza del Plebiscito
Option: Go on a walking tour of Naples and explore with a guide.
Head to Castel Dell’Ovo and walk on the Lungomare
Take the Funicular to Castel Sant’Elmo
Don’t miss the Chiostro di Santa Chiara
Don’t forget about Castel Nuovo
Eat an authentic pizza at Sorbillo
Day 2 – Visit the most beautiful towns on the Amalfi Coast
From Naples, head to Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello (if you still have the time).
The easiest and fastest way of getting from one place to the other is by booking an organized tour. During the 8 hours, you will be transferred from Naples to Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello. You won’t have to worry about getting there, timetables, or anything else. See more about the tour here!
If you prefer to go by yourself, you can take the Circumvesuviana train from Naples to Sorrento. Walk around the city, then take the boat to Positano. From Positano, you can take the bus to Amalfi and then to Ravello.
Day 3: day trip to Capri Island
On your last day of the itinerary, you will get to see the magnificent island of Capri. The most popular tour includes also a stop at the Blue Grotto, and you definitely do not want to miss that.
As soon as you set foot in Marina Grande, head directly to the chairlift that leaves Piazza Vittoria in Anacapri, which will take you to the top of the Solaro Mount.
You will be welcomed by a breathtaking view on the 12-minute ride!
Head back to the center of Anacapri and explore every corner of this stunning small and vibrant island city. Stop for a drink at a bar or restaurant in the Piazzetta, or head to Villa San Michele for a drink with a view.
Option 2 for your 3rd day of the itinerary: Pompeii and Sorrento
You can also skip Sorrento from your second day, and include it together with Pompeii on your 3rd day on the Amalfi Coast.
Take the Circumvesuviana train from Naples Centrale and get off at Herculaneum. From here, head to Pompeii and spend 2 hours exploring the ancient site together with an archeologist. Book your skip-the-line tour here!
From Pompeii, Sorrento is a short train ride away, and you will have enough time to explore the charming city.
Are 3 days enough for Amalfi Coast?
While you could spend much more time on the Italian Riviera without getting bored, 3 days on the Amalfi Coast could be enough time to get to see the best tourist attractions.
What to pack for 3 days on the Amalfi Coast
If you don’t know what to pack for your Amalfi Coast vacation, here are some of the things you must carry with you:
A pair of good sunglasses, no matter the season
A few nice floral colorful dresses
Sunscreen (this is my current favorite one)
Swimwear (when you are visiting during summer)
Comfortable shoes (I love how comfortable and light my Rockport shoes are)
Is the Amalfi Coast expensive?
While Italy overall can be a budget destination, the Amalfi Coast is one of the most expensive places to go to. This being said, you can definitely visit the Amalfi Coast on a budget.
Driving on the Amalfi Coast
If you are considering driving on the Amalfi Coast, I’ve done that and have written a comprehensive guide packed with useful tips and tricks.
However, I can understand if you don’t have the time to go through it all, so here are a few key takeaways:
Choose a small car – roads are narrow and winding, and parking spaces are hard to find.
Rent ahead of time to make sure the right car is available
Don’t risk it if you don’t have enough experience
Plan your itinerary and start early
Parking on the Amalfi Coast can be challenging and expensive in some areas. But that doesn’t mean it is impossible to find a spot, especially when you start early in the morning.
There are no gas stations along the way, so fill up your tank before driving the Amalfi Coast.
Food and eating on the Amalfi Coast
While there aren’t famous dishes born on the Amalfi Coast (as compared to Naples or Bologna), the area is known for its delicious and fresh fish dishes. We had some pasta with vongole together with fresh oysters at a small restaurant in Atrani and we couldn’t have enough.
Also, you cannot go wrong when ordering pizza, and Chez Black is known for its Instagrammable heart-shaped pizza served right by the Marina Grande in Positano.
Other beautiful restaurants worth booking a table at while on the Amalfi Coast:
La Sponda – high-class restaurant with breathtaking views over Positano
Il Grottino Azzuro – get a fine view from the top of Positano, and order anything from the daily menu of this local-style restaurant
Il Glicine, Amalfi – the wisteria-draped terrace of the Hotel Santa Caterina is the loveliest dinner spot in Amalfi
And while you are there, start your day with some freshly baked pastries from one of the local pasticcerias – there is no way to go wrong with this together with a cup of strong Italian espresso.
Traveling on a budget?
If you are traveling on a budget and want to see the Amalfi Coast, don’t worry, it is absolutely possible. There are a few great tips that can help you save during your trip.
Travel light – don’t bring on a lot of things, this way you can find it easy to travel by bus
Bring a reusable bottle so you don’t have to spend money on water
Buy food from the local market or supermarket and prepare sandwiches or a picnic for lunch. You can stop by at a beach and enjoy your meal.
Choose to visit certain towns that allow you to walk from one to the other: for example, you can walk from Positano to Atrani, or from Ravello to Minori.
Plan your trip for April, May, or October
Book hotels and tours in advance – the Amalfi Coast is such a popular destination that the best affordable accommodations will be sold out fast.
3 day tours of the Amalfi Coast
Would you rather go on an organized tour? Don’t worry about timetables, attractions, and whatnot.
Marvellous Amalfi – 3 days that will take from Rome to Naples, Pompeii, and Amalfi. You have accommodation included, meals, transportation, and a local guide that will help you discover the beauty of the Amalfi Coast.
Day trips from Rome: 3 days in Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi, Positano – have your base camp in Sorrento from where you get to visit all the main tourist attractions of the area, together with a day trip to the magnificent island of Capri. Apart from the hotel you have included meals, private transportation, and a local guide.
Other Amalfi Coast travel resources
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