After touching down in Salerno for the first day of my Amalfi Coast trip (blog post about this here), we headed over to Amalfi for the next 3 nights. We got on a TravelMar ferry that took about 35 minutes to reach the town. Armed with one large suitcase between us, I luckily just had the job of guiding us to the Airbnb we booked, whilst my poor traveling companion had to lug the suitcase up hundreds of little steps to get there. Once we were handed the keys, we freshened up at our place in the middle of town, before heading straight out to begin exploring!
I’d like to share my list of the top 10 things do in Amalfi:
Stay at a local Airbnb.
We love booking accommodation through Airbnb for a good few reasons. One is that it is usually much cheaper than a hotel. Yes, you don’t get the 24/7 service that you would expect from a hotel, but this is not a necessity for me. Airbnb provides everything I need – a bed and a good location to explore from! Another bonus is that you get a feel of local life.
We stayed at a place right in the center of town, where we had to climb quite a few steps in order to get to but this was a good thing as we had eaten plenty of carbs to burn off! We had a lovely view out from the bedroom window, where we could see other locals relaxing on their balconies and a backdrop of the hills surrounding Amalfi.
Walk by the pastel houses along the hillside path.
We found out about a hotel called Santa Caterina, on the outskirts of the center of Amalfi. Even though it seemed like a long way, we decided to take a stroll over there for lunch. I highly recommend bringing plenty of water and a hat if you decide to do this too, as there wasn’t much shade around for us.
From the center of Amalfi, there is a lovely hillside path to walk along, which ends about halfway to the hotel before joining the main road. This path is called Salita St. Peter of the Canonica and the views from all along there were amazing! Looking down, we could see a little Lido that looked like it was in a nice spot and wasn’t busy, so we put this on our things to check out.
When the path comes to an end, you can either choose to carry on up another path behind the road or actually walk along the main road, which we saw other people doing but probably isn’t as safe as there’s not much of a footpath. We took the path option but soon realised that if we went via the road, the route would have been a lot shorter!
Have lunch with a sea view at Hotel Santa Caterina.
After the long stroll from the center of Amalfi, we thought we would treat ourselves to a nice lunch. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but I think it’s worth it for the amazing dining experience you get. When we arrived, we received a ‘lunch pass’ from the reception, and were then guided to the elevator and on to the restaurant situated on a terrace above their Beach Club.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get a table right by the open window but we were still close enough to take in the beautiful view. I can’t say anything bad about the food; it was perfectly delicious! I had the best homemade gnocchi dish and J had a homemade fusilli dish. We both didn’t want the food to end! You can find their menu here.
Chill out at the Lido.
The next day at about 10:30 we went to the Lido that we saw on our walk to Hotel Santa Catarina. We had booked a couple of the loungers (we didn’t need to pay to book; just put our names down) after we walked back from our lunch. Booking probably isn’t necessary because we were two of the only people there when we arrived.
With a book in my hand, we chilled out for about an hour before taking a dip in their private little bit of sea, in front of the loungers. They also have lots of their own lilos to choose from, so you can have even more of a relaxing time floating in the sea! I recommend wearing flip-flops when you walk down the steps to get in the water – it’s very stoney, so it’s quite hard to walk on.
We spent about 4 hours here before heading off for some lunch. It cost €25 for two loungers, for the whole day, which I think is worth it for the quiet and private area you get to relax in; all other beach areas around were a lot busier!
Grab a very filling, fresh sandwich from La Bottega dei Ferrari.
Make sure you’re hungry when you visit this place! They have a list of sandwiches to choose from on a menu outside (both in English and Italian), or you can choose your own fillings. I highly recommend them as they careful assemble their sandwiches with freshly sliced meats.
There are only a couple tables outside, but luckily someone left as we got there so we got to enjoy ours sat in the quiet square. I had the ‘Quinto Potere‘ sandwich, with turkey slices, salad, olives, tomatoes, mayo, and a drizzle of olive oil. So good!
Sip on a Lemon Granita.
This was one of the things to do recommended by our B&B host in Salerno. To get ours, we went to a little hole in a wall place called A’Sciulia, just off of the main square. It seemed to be the same place our B&B host went so we gave it a go even though you can probably get Lemon Granita cheaper in other places around.
His advice was that it’s best to have it in the gap between lunch and dinner as it can be filling due to its intensity. I can definitely agree with that, and it’s also very refreshing so it’s great to have around that time after a day of exploring!
Walk through the tunnels underneath the Cathedral.
This is another tip that our B&B host gave us. He told us that although it may look like any old tunnel, there is a story behind the way that it was constructed. If you look up in some of the areas of the tunnel, you will see an opening where there are hidden windows.
The story went that in the war times, locals would stand at these windows waiting for their unsuspecting enemies to walk through the tunnel, and then pour a hot substance down to injure them. I’m not sure how much truth there is to this story, but it made us want to go have a look anyway!
The tunnel led us to a little square where there was an entrance to another, much larger, walking tunnel. This one led to a car park on the other side, and also the next little town along, Atrani! The beach at Atrani is apparently much quieter than the beach at Amalfi, so could be a good option if you want to have a little beach break after all the walking!
Have a pizza under lemon trees at Pizzeria Donna Stella.
I wish I could go back! A cosy garden with lemon tree branches acting as a canopy above your head, this pizzeria is one of the best I’ve ever been to. It’s tucked away behind the crowded main streets, up some steps, and down a little alley.
As a starter, we shared mini rice balls, potato balls, and aubergine balls, all of which were so tasty! For mains, J ordered an unusual pizza – one with chips on top! Carbilicious. I had a classic pepperoni one, which was baked perfectly and was really delicious.
Hop on the open-top CitySightseeing bus for a day trip to Ravello.
I think this is my favorite thing we did in Amalfi. It was a peaceful and relaxing ride up to Ravello, with the winding road taking us higher and higher into the hills and past layers of lemon groves. Not long after the drive starts, I was amazed by the view of the coastline and sea that stretched on for miles.
We hopped on the bus around 3pm, and it left with only one other couple on the ride with us! It’s probably busier if you leave earlier to spend the whole day in Ravello, but we thought the afternoon and evening would be enough for us. The single journey was €5 each, which included a pre-recorded audio guide about the history of Amalfi as you head up. I think this price is definitely worth it.
I recommend wearing plenty of sunscreen for the journey if you’re going in the middle of summer like we did, as the sun blaring down on us was disguised by the cool breeze.
Walk the 45-minute path back down to Amalfi from Ravello.
After a lovely day and dinner in Ravello, we decided to take the challenging walk down back to Amalfi. It was around 8pm and already dark, so probably not the best idea we’ve ever had considering we didn’t really know the way back (but we did know that there were signs to lead us).
Just as a note, I only recommend this if you think you have the legs for it! Most of the walk consisted of continuously stepping down, so the repetition of this soon got quite tiring. Some of the steps were large ones as well, so I personally found it fairly challenging.
Despite all of this, I thought it was a great adventure down the streetlit steps to the coast. It’s definitely best to make the journey in the daylight though, as the views must be well-worth it! We stopped off at a corner with an opening through the trees and saw the lights of another little coastal town sparkling away.
Amalfi seems to be a great little town to base yourself in if you are traveling the Amalfi Coast. We decided to hop around the coastal towns though, staying at various Airbnb’s / B&B’s. Our next stop was Positano, where we spent two nights. I’ll be writing my next blog post about this wonderful place soon!
Hope my list of top 10 things to do in Amalfi helps you out if you’re thinking about visiting! If you’ve already been, what were your favourite things to do there? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!