Let's be honest: Positano and Amalfi, like many other popular tourist destinations in Italy, are not particularly budget-friendly. That said, there are a few ways you can save money to stretch your budget for an Amalfi Coast vacation without making too many sacrifices and while enjoying this beautiful UNESCO-listed stretch of coastline.
Prices remain more or less stable during the tourist season that runs from April to October. You may be able to find lower prices in the winter months, but many hotels, holiday homes, and restaurants are closed, public transportation runs on limited hours, and not all tourist services are available.
There are important differences between one town and another, however. Positano is the most expensive town, followed by Amalfi. The less famous but equally welcoming towns of Praiano, Maiori, Minori, and Cetara, etc. are where prices are a bit lower.
Let's see how much you should expect to spend each day on the Amalfi Coast, divided into categories.
Travelers usually reach the Amalfi Coast from Naples or Salerno, but how much does it cost to get here?
Transfers from Naples
Getting from the Naples airport to the Amalfi Coast is not always easy. There are no direct connections, so you have to get to Sorrento first and then take the bus to Positano or Amalfi, for a total of about two hours of travel time. By booking a private transfer, you can avoid the hassle, crowds, and missed connections that often make arrival a stressful endeavor.
A private transfer by sedan or minivan departing from Naples for Positano or Amalfi generally costs around EUR 130 and includes pickup at the airport or train station and luggage transport. Consider that it costs around EUR 30/person to take public transport, so sometimes a private transfer is a cheaper option for getting to the Amalfi Coast if you're traveling with a group of friends or family. If you plan on visiting the ruins in Pompeii, you can book a transfer service that includes a stop at the archaeological site.
The cheapest way to get between the towns on the Amalfi Coast and Gulf of Salerno (or to get there from Naples, Salerno, or Sorrento) is the public Sita bus. There are both one-way tickets, with prices that vary according to the distance, and hourly tickets, that are good for 60 minutes after the first ride. This is an affordable option for those who need to make a connection between two different routes (for example to get from Salerno to Ravello, changing in Amalfi).
Another option for those who plan on using the bus a number of times during the day is the full-day ticket, valid for 24 hours after the first ride. There is an EUR 10 and an EUR 12 version, the latter also good for the local buses that run inside Positano. Keep in mind that during the summer there can be long lines to board at the bus stops, especially at the stops for destinations along the route like Positano on buses headed to Sorrento.
The Coast by Land and Sea
If you're planning on using the ferry, you can also opt for the special “Costiera Terra e Mare” (Coast by Land and Sea) ticket that costs EUR 15 (note that it is not good for 24 hours, but only until midnight of the day of the first ride).
In addition to unlimited rides on the Sita bus, the Terra e Mare ticket includes a trip on the Travelmar ferry that runs between Positano, Amalfi, Minori, Maiori, Cetara, and Salerno, so is a great way to cut travel costs on the Amalfi Coast.
Speaking of ferries, these routes by sea are an excellent way to visit the towns along the Amalfi Coast and the Sorrentine Peninsula, though ferry tickets are more expensive than bus tickets. Getting around by ferry can increase the overall cost of your Amalfi Coast vacation, but it also cuts down dramatically on time stress, given that the traffic on land is often snarled during high season.
But what are the prices for ferry tickets, exactly?
A hydrofoil ferry for Positano from Salerno or Amalfi costs EUR 9 one way, while tickets from Salerno to Amalfi cost EUR 14. A ticket for the route between Maiori and Positano is EUR 12 one way, while small jaunts between intermediate towns like Maiori and Minori is just EUR 3. In summer, the ferry is the most enjoyable and scenic way to get around.
Taxi fares between the towns on the Amalfi Coast vary according to the distance of the ride and number of passengers. Generally, fares begin at EUR 15 for shorter rides between towns like Amalfi and Atrani (a delightful fishing village that you should take time to visit) and can be as expensive as EUR 150/170 from the Naples train station or airport to the coast. We suggest you agree on a fare beforehand, especially for longer rides.
To get from Amalfi to Positano by taxi, for example, fares begin at EUR 70 for up to 4 passengers and EUR 85 for larger groups.
The cheapest way to get around, especially inside each town on the UNESCO-listed coastline, is on foot. Keep in mind, however, that the coast is quite steep so you'll have to take on stairs and hills.
If you are planning on renting a car or driving your own, you should take into account that parking on the Amalfi Coast is very expensive. The average price of one hour of parking in Positano is EUR 8. You can save a bit by booking a hotel on the Amalfi Coast that offers private parking or discounted parking, but be sure to book it far in advance.
Parking in Amalfi is about EUR 3/hour in the Luna Rossa parking area, a large parking garage dug directly into the coastal cliff at the town entrance. In Ravello, the city parking area beneath Piazza Duomo costs EUR 2.50/hour or EUR 15/day. Positano is the most expensive town to park in and it's also a challenge to find street parking (blue lines mark public street parking that costs EUR 3/hour).
There are some spots along the coast like the Furore Fjord where there is no parking at all!
Restaurants and Bars
Dining out on the Amalfi Coast is a must, as all the towns offer a wide array of eateries including everything from Michelin-starred restaurants to casual pizzerias. Prices vary widely, but you can generally find something to fit any budget that both offers excellent Mediterranean classics and local specialties like Cetara anchovies or cheeses from Agerola.
Budget for at least EUR 35 a person for two courses, though tasting menus from some of the top chefs on the coast can top EUR 150/person. A pizza and a drink will cost EUR 15 to 20, while a paper cup of fried fish and seafood known as a “cuoppo”, a common local street food, costs even less and is the ideal cheap meal. (These prices are only an indication, but many of the more famous restaurants, especially in Positano, can cost dramatically more than what we indicate here).
Espresso with a View
An espresso break is an important part of the culture in Naples and the surrounding region of Campania, and its a small pleasure that you can get away with on the coast for EUR 2 or 3 if you take your espresso sitting down at a table; it costs less if you toss it down while standing at the bar like the locals do when they're in a rush. Prices are higher in the more elegant and central coffee bars where you also pay for the "ambience".
If you'd like to relax over a pre-dinner aperitivo or nightcap, budget at least EUR 8 to 10 euro for each drink or EUR 15 for cocktails at a club. What about the traditional local Limoncello liqueur? It's often offered for free to finish off your meal at restaurants on the coast!
A lounger at a beach club in Positano or Amalfi costs an average of EUR 25 or 30/day in July and August. For two loungers and a beach umbrella, prices go as high as EUR 80/day.
You can save a bit in June and September or opt for less expensive beaches in towns like Vietri sul Mare, Maiori, or Minori. Some beaches also offer discounted prices for the use of a lounger and umbrella for just the afternoon. Almost all the towns along the coast have small public beaches that are free but can be very crowded in July and August.
Boat Tours to Capri
A full day minicruise from Positano to Capri with a small group costs EUR 80/person and includes a number of stops to swim, a cruise around the island, and a stop for free time to explore the island on land for about four hours.
A private tour ensures, in addition to privacy, the option of customizing your itinerary and experience so you can decide when and where to stop to swim or explore on land. You pay more for this flexibility, however, and prices for a private boat tour to Capri from the Amalfi Coast begin at about EUR 700 (which can actually be a cheaper option than a shared tour if you are traveling with a large group of family or friends!).
Skipper for a Day
If you'd like to take a rubber dinghy or traditional wooden "gozzo" boat out by yourself to explore the quieter coves, you can rent a boat without a skipper. In addition to complete freedom and flexibility, you can find prices from about EUR 200 for half a day, especially if you book in advance.
Driving Tours with a Driver
How much does it cost to book a full-day tour with a driver on the Amalfi Coast? To rent a private sedan or minivan with a driver on the Amalfi Coast, expect to spend from EUR 350/day. Like with boat tours, a private driving tour can be an affordable option if you are traveling with a large family or group of friends.
The Cost of Culture
The cost of visiting museums and other cultural sites on the Amalfi Coast won't be a budget-buster, as most tickets cost anywhere from EUR 3 to enter the Amalfi Duomo to EUR for Villa Cimbrone. Remember that children either have reduced or free entrance.
Amalfi Coast Prices: An Overview
Here's an easy overview of the cost of an Amalfi Coast vacation:
Ferry tickes: around EUR 10 to 15 one way
Full-day bus pass: EUR 10 to 12
Taxi: from EUR 15 for short rides
Emerald Grotto: EUR 5
Duomo di Sant'Andrea in Amalfi: EUR 3
Paper Museum in Amalfi: EUR 4.50
Villa Cimbrone: EUR 7
Villa Rufolo: EUR 7
There are discounted tickets or free entry at many of these attractions for children under 18.
Full-day private Capri boat tour: from EUR 700 for the boat (from EUR 350 for half-day)
Full-day group Capri boat tour: from EUR 85/person
Boat rental without skipper: from EUR 200/boat for a half day
Beach Club Loungers
Positano or Amalfi: around EUR 25
Other towns: from EUR 15 to 20
Two-course dinner at a restaurant: from EUR 35
Pizza and a drink: from EUR 15
Aperitivo drink at a bar: EUR 10
Cocktail at a club: around EUR 10 or 15
Espresso with table service: from EUR 2.50 to 8