Italy: 5 Budget tips for exploring the Amalfi Coast


The spectacular town of Amalfi. Photo: Stanislav.

Famed for its sweeping vistas of the deep blue Mediterranean sea, picturesque hilltop villages, and an abundance of Southern Italian charm, the Amalfi Coast is a destination that any lover of beauty and romance should experience at least once.

Of course, a seaside location this idyllic is also full of budget-busting traps that can quickly bring your focus away from the scenery and towards the lightening of your wallet.

To help you and your budget cope, we’ve come up with a few tips that can help you enjoy the natural delights of amazing towns like Capri, Sorrento, Positano, and Amalfi — without it costing you an arm and a leg.

Read more about saving in Italy
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Despite its spendy reputation, this beautiful part of Italy is within the reach of Cheapos. Read on to find out how you can save on your vacation to the Amalfi Coast.

Sorrento Picnic

Picnics are a tasty and cheap way to save on your Amalfi Coast trip. Photo: Greger.

1. Pack a lunch for the journey

Restaurants on the Amalfi Coast have gorgeous views, incredible cuisine, and usually a very hefty price tag. If you’re making the trip from Naples, you can easily find affordable and delicious food for a picnic. It will cost a fraction of what you’d pay in towns along the coast or in the islands.

For under €2, grab a mini pizza, an arancino (a fried rice ball stuffed with ham, cheese, or porcini mushrooms), or just some prosciutto, cheese and bread to make a nice sandwich — and presto — you have your lunch for the day! With your delicious packed meal, you are now free to find a spot to enjoy your food with a million dollar view.

2. Make it a day trip

Hotels on the Amalfi Coast tend to cater to more luxurious big spenders, so it might be best for Cheapos to enjoy the scenery during a day trip rather than an overnight adventure. Budget hotels and hostels are abundant in nearby Naples and can also be found on the other end of the Amalfi Coast in the smaller but cheerier (and cleaner) city of Salerno, as well.

Want to spend the night? Check out these hotels on the Amalfi Coast in Positano, Ravello, Amalfi, and Sorrento.

Drive Amalfi Coast

The view from a scenic drive along the Amalfi Coast. Photo: John S..

3. Split a rental car and drive along the coast

In Naples, there are car rental agencies that offer a rate starting at a shockingly low €10 per day at certain times of the year. With this rate, the cost of a one-day car rental (plus gas and tolls) to drive the length of the coast and back to Napoli via Salerno (about a three-hour trip) should be €50-60 in total. (Search for car rentals in Europe.) If you can find a few other people to travel with, you’ll have a low budget way to see every beautiful stop along the way and at your own leisurely pace.

Related: Driving in Italy: 7 tips for staying safe, sane and on budget with your rental car

4. Village hop with cheap public transport

For under €4, you can take the Circumvesuviana train from Garibaldi Station in Naples to the Amalfi Coast starting point city of Sorrento. Once in Sorrento, you can catch a SITA bus which has stops at each of the wonderful towns dotted along the coast (don’t forget to stop in the unforgettable town of Positano!).

Ticket prices are under €2 for intermediate trips between villages or €8 for the 24-hour ticket which allows you to hop on and hop off as you please anywhere between Sorrento and Salerno. Remember to take the window on the right side of the bus to catch the amazing views!

Capri

Take a boat to Capri! Photo: Juan C..

5.  Take the slow boat to the islands

The gorgeous islands of Capri and Ischia are must-see destinations on any trip to the Amalfi Coast. Getting there from the port of Naples can be done via two kinds of boats: the high-speed ferry or the “slow” ferry. Don’t let the name deceive you, as it’s only a 30-minute difference between the two, but the ticket on the slower boat can cost 30% less. Prices start under €15 for a one-way ticket. Check the online ferry schedule for more information.

Frankly, who wouldn’t want an extra 30 minutes enjoying a boat ride on the Bay of Naples? It’s an easy decision for any traveler not in a huge hurry wanting to save a few bucks.

Want to extend your island excursion? Book a hotel room in Capri!

Have you been to the Amalfi Coast? Share your favorite tips on how you save.

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