Sorrento is a small city in the southern part of Italy, surrounded by a dreamy landscape of rolling hills, deep valleys, and the Lattari Mountains.

In the town itself, there isn’t a whole lot to do, but Sorrento makes an ideal starting point for numerous excursions to nearby cities and islands around the famous Amalfi Coast, like Capri and Ischia.

Even if you want to just do nothing but enjoy the Mediterranean vibes, traveling to Sorrento is a nice stop for a couple of days, but I’d use it as a gateway city to the other parts of the region. I especially love driving along the coastal and winding roads overlooking the sea. The area is the perfect place for a road trip.

You can use this Sorrento travel guide to help you plan your visit to the city, maximize your time, save money, and make the most out of the region.

Table of Contents

  1. Things to See and Do
  2. Typical Costs
  3. Suggested Budget
  4. Money Saving Tips
  5. Where To Stay
  6. How to Get Around
  7. When To Go
  8. How to Stay Safe
  9. Best Places to Book Your Trip
  10. Gear and Packing List
  11. Suggested Reading
  12. My Detailed Guidebooks
  13. Related Blogs on Sorrento

Top 5 Things to See and Do in Sorrento

1. Head to Capri

Just a quick ferry ride from Sorrento, Capri has beautiful beaches, delicious seafood, small villages, and some hiking trails. Make sure you go to the famous blue grotto, a small cave where the light turns the water neon blue. Stay the night, because once the day trippers leave, the island is (an even more) tranquil paradise!

2. Visit Castello Aragonese

Located on Ischia, this castle dates back to the 5th-century. At various points of time, it has served as a defensive stronghold, a noble’s court, and even a convent. Admission to the site costs €10 EUR ($11.25 USD) and you will tour the convent ruins and the other buildings.

3. Visit the Convent di San Francesco

Three buildings form the Convent di San Francesco: the church, the convent, and the famous cloister. The convent preserves important works in wood, representing Saint Francis, and its unique 14th century architecture incorporates styles from pagan temple and ancient settlements. It’s often used to host events.

4. Hit the beach

The beaches here are beautiful. Marina Grande and Marina Piccola are relaxing spots but most places cost €6-12 EUR ($6.75 USD) for an entrance fee. While that includes seating and an umbrella, you’re better off heading to Bagni Regina Giovanna for a more relaxing and local spot.

5. Visit the Museo Correale

This is the main art and history museum in Sorrento. The collection here is very extensive and includes Japanese, Chinese, Neapolitan, and European art dating from the 17th century. There are also some old furnishings, ceramics, and clocks on display alongside various Roman and Greek artifacts. Admission is €8 EUR and is open daily (except Mondays) from 9:30am-6:30pm.

Other Things to See and Do in Sorrento

1. Go inside the Duomo

The simple exterior of the 15th-century Duomo on Corso Italia is very misleading: the interior is lined with beautiful, original furnishings, including wooden choir stalls and the marble bishop’s throne. It’s open daily from 8am-12:30pm and 4:30-9pm.

2. Head to Sorrento Cape

Here you will see sandy beaches and the archaeological site of the villa of Pollio Felice. Back in the 1st Century B.C., elite Romans started building their vacation villas along the coast. Pollio Felice was a member of the Pozzuoli noble family, and while there are a few remains left behind, there’s also a reconstructed model of his villa in the Georges Vallet Archeological Museum. Admission is free.

4. Explore Marina Puolo

This picturesque seaside village has only about 150 inhabitants and was a popular hideaway for the Pollio mentioned above Felice. Most people come here to escape the crowds and lounge around on the beach. There is also Punta Campanella, a protected area notable for its biodiversity. Both make nice side trips from Sorrento.

5. Go to Ischia

Ischia is just like the island of Capri but without all the tourists. It’s cheaper, and though it lacks the blue grotto, it’s a better island to visit because of the fewer people. Here you’ll find secluded beaches, thermal spas, and Castello Aragonese (dating back to 471 BC) connected to Ischia by a bridge.

6. Learn the art of marquetry

Sorrento is known for its marquetry handicrafts, a term which refers to inlaid objects (like pearls or other decorative materials) on wood. You can visit the Museo Bottega della Tarsia Lignea to learn about this art form. Admission is €8 EUR ($9 USD) and it’s open daily from 10am-6:30pm with limited hours in the winter.

7. Stop by the Archaeological Museum

The Territorial Archaeological Museum George Vallet is located in a neoclassical style building. The collection consists of archaeological artifacts unearthed along the Sorrento Peninsula. Two highlights include the remains of the Villa at Capo di Massa, and a giant marble statue of a woman from the Imperial era. There are some pieces from the Greek era as well as the Roman. Entry is free!

8. Eat your heart out

To sample all that Sorrento has to offer, Sorrento Food Tours is the way to go. You’ll either eat your way through the city center or take a wine-based evening tour. Both tours are €75 EUR ($67 USD).

9. Visit Pompeii and Herculaneum

Although Naples is usually the hopping off point for exploring Pompeii and Herculaneum, it’s easy to do so from Sorrento as well. Exploring the incredibly well-preserved ruins of these ancient towns is a must-do. Entry to Pompeii is €11 EUR ($12.30 USD) while Herculaneum is from €13 EUR ($14.55 USD).

Sorrento Travel Costs

Hostel prices – There are very few hostel options in Sorrento as it’s more of a luxury city. Dorms cost around €20 EUR ($22 USD) per night while private rooms start around €50 EUR ($56 USD) per night.

There are a handful of campgrounds too. They’re not much more affordable than hostel dorms, however, with campsites for two starting at €30 EUR ($34 USD). Most are well connected by public transportation.

Budget hotel prices – A night in a two-star budget hotel starts around €30 EUR ($34 USD) in the low season and can go up as high as €60 EUR ($67 USD) in the summer months.

On Airbnb, you will find shared rooms starting around €20 EUR ($22 USD) per night, while private rooms average around €22 EUR ($25 USD). You can also rent entire homes starting at €50 EUR ($56 USD).

Average cost of food – It’s easy to eat for less than €15 EUR ($17 USD) a day if you make the effort. A simple pizza with a drink will cost about €9 EUR ($10 USD). A two-course meal including a half liter of house wine, a bottle of mineral water, and coffee will cost about €25 EUR ($28 USD). Most restaurants will add €1-3 EUR ($1.10-3.35 USD) for the “coperto” (sit down fee). Expect to pay €60 EUR ($67 USD) per week for groceries that will include pasta, vegetables, chicken, and other basic foods. If you find a discount grocer like Eurospin, Lidl or Penny Market, you’ll pay a lot less.

Backpacking Sorrento Suggested Budgets

On a backpacker budget in Sorrento, you will spend about €52 EUR ($58 USD) per day. This will cover a hostel dorm, cooking most of your meals, eating cheap sandwiches or pizza, using public transportation, and visiting one or two paid attractions. There’s a lot of free attractions here that can keep your costs down.

On a mid-range budget of about €106 EUR ($119 USD) per day, you can get a two-star budget hotel or a private Airbnb room, eating our more often, a taxi here and there, and a few paid attractions or tours each day.

A luxury budget will cost you at least €232 EUR ($260 USD) per day. You will stay at a four-star hotel, eat out for all your meals, have plenty of drinks, take taxis everywhere, and do lots of tours. The sky is the limit when you have money!

You can use the chart below to get an idea of how much you need per day. Keep in mind these are daily averages – some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less (you might spend less every day, who knows!). We just want to give you a general idea of how to budget your money. Prices are in USD.

Sorrento Travel Guide: Money Saving Tips

Sorrento is a popular spot that caters to more upscale travelers. During the summer months, it gets very crowded and pricey. You need to watch your budget here or you can end up spending a lot of money. Here are some ways to save money when you visit Sorrento:

  • Get off the beaten track – Consider visiting Ischia instead of Capri to save yourself some money and beat the crowds, or stay in one of the small neighboring villages at a bed and breakfast instead of in the center of Sorrento.
  • Eat pizza and paninis – It may not always be the healthiest option, but you will find pizzas and paninis at most restaurants for a much more affordable rate than the main dishes. Most pizzas cost around €9 EUR ($10 USD).
  • Drink the tap water -Ask for tap water or you will automatically get expensive bottled water included on your bill. Refill your bottles of water at any of the drinking fountains throughout Italy.
  • Buy your own alcohol – You can buy a great bottle of wine for €4 EUR ($4.50 USD). It’s cheaper than going to a bar.
  • Couchsurf – Accommodation here quite expensive. Use Couchsurfing to stay with locals who have extra beds and couches for free. I use the service a lot and find it not only saves me money, but I meet great people too.

Where To Stay in Sorrento

There are only a few hostels in Sorrento. My recommended places to stay when you visit the city are:

  • Seven Hostel
  • Florida Hostel and Hotel
  • Village Camping Santafortunata Campogaio
  • Resort Campogaio

How to Get Around Sorrento

Sorrento’s city center is very small and walkable, but if you want to get up into the hillside or explore any neighboring areas you have to take public transportation.

Bus – EAV buses are red and orange and run about every 20 minutes. Tickets are €1.20 EUR ($1.35 USD) and must be bought at tobacco shops or the Circumvesuviana train station. You can’t purchase tickets onboard. EAV buses run between Sorrento and Meto, Sant’Agnello, Piano, and Massa Lubrense.

If you want to get to the other major towns on the Amalfi Coast (like Salerno and Positano), you will take the SITA buses. These buses are between €1.40-15 EUR ($1.55-16.85 USD), depending on the distance.

Train – The Circumvesuviana railway also connects the towns along the Amalfi Coast, but it’s not connected with the national rail, so you can’t purchase tickets on Trenitalia. You have to purchase tickets at the station, and most will take cash only. Trains run every 30 minutes. Tickets from Naples to Sorrento cost about €3.60 EUR ($4.05 USD).

Ferry – If you want to visit Capri, there are frequent ferry services from Sorrento. It only takes 20 minutes.. Tickets start from €25 EUR ($28 USD). Sorrento to Ischia is from €17 EUR ($19 USD).

Taxi – Taxis are costly in Sorrento. If you must take one, the starting fare is around €4 EUR ($4.50 USD) and then €0.40 EUR ($0.45 USD) per minute. So, for example, a 10-minute drive from your hotel to the Marina Grande will cost about €8 EUR ($9 USD).

When to Go to Sorrento

Summer in Sorrento is the best time to visit but it’s also peak season. The beaches are busy, the waters are warm, and the sun is endless! Peak season is from June to August, with July and August being the busiest months. Temperatures are usually around 88°F (31°C) each day, so you will enjoy plenty of beach time.

Even spring and fall are busy, with crowds lingering around Sorrento until mid-October. The weather is still warm, and some people swim until the end of September (or even later). In October the average daily temperature is 73°F (23°C). Spring tends to be drier than fall, however.

The average temperature in the winter months is 57°F (14°C) daily. It’s quiet around here this time of year; summer is definitely more exciting.

How to Stay Safe in Sorrento

Sorrento is very safe to visit. In Italy, scams and pick pocketing are common dangers you’ll face, although it’s not overly common in Sorrento. If you’re worried about getting scammed, you can read about the 14 travel scams to avoid right here.

Always trust your gut instinct. If your hotel is seedier than you thought, get out of there. Make copies of your personal documents, including your passport and ID.

If you don’t do it at home, don’t do it in Sorrento!

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. You can use the widget below to find the policy right for you:

Sorrento Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when I travel to Sorrento. They are included here because they consistently find deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the ones I use the most and are always the starting points in my search for travel deals.

  • Momondo – This is my favorite booking site. I never book a flight without checking here first.
  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is another great flight search engline which searches a lot of different airlines, including many of the budget carriers that larger sites miss. While I always start with Momondo, I use this site too as a way to compare prices.
  • Booking.com – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have a no money down policy, great interface, and the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all bookers.
  • Airbnb – Airbnb is a great accommodation alternative for connecting with homeowners who rent out their homes or apartments. (If you’re new to Airbnb, get $35 off your first stay!)
  • Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there, with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • Couchsurfing – This website allows you to stay on people’s couches or spare rooms for free. It’s a great way to save money while meeting locals who can tell you the ins and outs of their city. The site also lists events you can attend to meet people (even if you’re not staying with someone).
  • Booking.com – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have a no money down policy, great interface, and the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all bookers.
  • ItaliaRail – A great resource to use when planning your trip via train around Italy is ItaliaRail. You can compare prices, routes, and schedules and save up to 60% on your tickets.
  • Intrepid Travel – If you want to do a group tour around Europe, go with Intrepid Travel. They offer good small group tours that use local operators and leave a small environmental footprint. If you go on a tour with anyone, go with them. And, as a reader of this site, you’ll get exclusive discounts when you click the link!
  • STA Travel – A good company for those under 30 or for students, STA Travel offers discounted airfare as well as travel passes that help you save on attractions.
  • Vayable – I enjoy this site because it allows you to experience niche, offbeat, and interesting tours that bigger tour companies might not run (like a street art tour in Berlin). Plus, the groups tend to be very small, making for a more intimate experience.
  • The Man in Seat 61 – This website is the ultimate guide to train travel anywhere in the world. They have the most comprehensive information on routes, times, prices, and train conditions. If you are planning a long train journey or some epic train trip, consult this site.
  • Rome 2 Rio – This website allows you to see how to get from point A to point B the best and cheapest way possible. It will give you all the bus, train, plane, or boat routes that can get you there as well as how much they cost.
  • FlixBus – German based Flixbus has routes between 20 European countries with prices starting as low €5 EUR (6 USD)! Their buses include WiFi, electrical outlets, and up to three 3 free bags.
  • World Nomads – I buy all my travel insurance from World Nomads. They have great customer service, competitive prices, and in-depth coverage. I’ve been using them since I started traveling in 2003. Don’t leave home without it!

Sorrento Gear and Packing Guide

In this section, I’ll give you my suggestion for the best travel backpack and tips on what to pack when you visit Sorrento.

The Best Backpack for Sorrento

REI Flash 45 Pack
What’s the best backpack for traveling around Sorrento? I recommend the REI Flash 45 Pack. It’s light and comfy, front loading, and fits perfectly in an airplane’s overhead bin.
Size: 45-47L
Straps: Thick and cushy with compression technology that pulls the pack’s load up and inwards so it doesn’t feel as heavy.
Features: Removable top lid, large pocket at the front, hydration compatible, contoured hip belt

If you want something a different backpack, refer to my article on how to choose the best travel backpack with more tips, advice, and backpack suggestions!

What to Pack for Sorrento

Clothes

  • 1 pair of jeans (heavy and not easily dried, but I like them; a good alternative is khaki pants)
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 bathing suit
  • 6 T-shirts
  • 1 long-sleeved T-shirt
  • 1 pair of flip-flops
  • 1 pair of sneakers
  • 8 pairs of socks (I always end up losing half)
  • 5 pairs of boxer shorts (I’m not a briefs guy!)
  • 1 toothbrush
  • 1 tube of toothpaste
  • 1 razor
  • 1 package of dental floss
  • 1 small bottle of shampoo
  • 1 small bottle of shower gel
  • 1 towel
  • Deodorant

Small Medical Kit (safety is important!!!)

  • Band-Aids
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Antibacterial cream
  • Earplugs
  • Tylenol
  • Hand sanitizer (germs = sick = bad holiday)

Miscellaneous

  • A key or combination lock (safety first)
  • Zip-lock bags (keeps things from leaking or exploding)
  • Plastic bags (great for laundry)
  • Universal charger/adaptor (this applies to everyone)
  • LifeStraw (A water bottle with a purifier.)

Female Travel Packing List
I’m not a woman, so I don’t know what a woman wears, but Kristin Addis, our solo female travel guru, wrote this list as an addition to the basics above:

Clothing

  • 1 swimsuit
  • 1 sarong
  • 1 pair of stretchy jeans (they wash and dry easily)
  • 1 pair of leggings (if it’s cold, they can go under your jeans, otherwise with a dress or shirt)
  • 2-3 long-sleeve tops
  • 2-3 T-shirts
  • 3-4 spaghetti tops
  • 1 light cardigan

Toiletries

  • 1 dry shampoo spray & talc powder (keeps long hair grease-free in between washes)
  • 1 hairbrush
  • Makeup you use
  • Hair bands & hair clips
  • Feminine hygiene products (you can opt to buy there too, but I prefer not to count on it, and most people have their preferred products)

For more on packing, check out these posts:

  • What I Pack For My Travels
  • The Ultimate List For Female Travelers
  • How to Choose and Buy the Right Backpack