Sorrento is one of the most popular bases for exploring the Amalfi Coast, although technically it sits on the northern coast of the Sorrentine Peninsula, with the Amalfi Coast just to the south facing the Gulf of Salerno. The advantage of staying here is that it has great connections to Capri Island, Pompeii, and the Amalfi Coast towns of Amalfi and Positano, along with magnificent views. It can also be visited in the off-season, between October and April, when destinations like Capri and Positano are mostly shut down. There’s a wide range of accommodation options for nearly every budget, including short-term apartment rentals, B&Bs, and hotels. They’re spread throughout town, with various neighborhoods to choose from based on your particular preferences and plans. Those in the city center will put you close to many attractions, dining, and shopping venues, while those near the shore offer fabulous views of the bay and Mount Vesuvius.
This guide to where to stay in Sorrento will help make what might feel like an overwhelming choice infinitely easier, allowing you to choose the very best option for your needs and interests.
The best area to stay for first-time visitors to Sorrento is the heart of the historic center around Piazza Tasso, the main square. This is where you’ll find the greatest concentration of hotels, from budget-friendly to luxurious along with many shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs, clubs, and bars. It’s easy to explore on foot from here and you’ll find many attractions such as the Church of San Francisco with its gorgeous Arabic portico and interlaced arches. It also hosts various art exhibitions and classical concerts with international performers. The cathedral is in this area as well with its majolica clock and bell tower, nestled along Via Pieta alongside several picturesque medieval palaces. You’ll be a short walk from old traditional cinemas, the Museo Correale with everything from Roman artifacts to 17th-century Neapolitan arts too. As the area is safe and pedestrian-only, it makes for a more relaxed sightseeing experience.
The historic center, particularly around Villa Comunale, offers the most romantic setting for couples. A stay here will put you just steps from the large public park that overlooks the sea, providing one of the most jaw-dropping views over the Gulf of Naples, the Bay or Sorrento, and Mount Vesuvius from its clifftop perch. The park has benches for cuddling up together with that incredible view – if you come at dusk, you can enjoy one of the best sunset views in southern Italy too. The beautifully manicured lawns host occasional concerts during the warmer months, providing easy access to those as well as the Church and Cloisters of San Francesco. The church was originally built as a monastery in the 7th century while the cloisters were added in the 14th century – with their romantic setting, this is a popular spot for wedding ceremonies. Nearby accommodations include guesthouses, charming B&Bs, and boutique hotels.
The main street running through the old town is Corso Italia and it’s the best area to stay in Sorrento for nightlife. As it’s also part of the historic center, you’ll be perfectly situated for sightseeing too. It’s lively by day and night, with countless venues for fun after dark. You might dine on local gnocchi before heading to a cocktail bar or one of the clubs like the elegant Fauno Notte Club. There are a wide variety of venues, even some fabulous Irish bars when you’re looking for something different, with fun guaranteed in Italian/Irish style. Lots of dancing can be enjoyed late into the night at multiple venues and if you feel like singing, head to karaoke night at Daniele’s. Keep in mind that going out here means no flip-flops or shorts, it’s the perfect time to dress to impress. You’ll find a good range of accommodation options, from B&Bs and apartment rentals to hotels
The best neighborhood in Sorrento for sightseeing is the historic center, the same area that’s ideal for first-time visitors to the town. The reason is obvious, you’ll be steps from most of the attractions, with numerous landmarks here, making it easy to explore Sorrento’s rich culture and history. The influence of various historical periods can be seen in the center, with a number of notable buildings that have managed to stand the test of time. That includes the baroque-style Church of San Francisco with its stunning views of the Gulf of Naples and the 11th-century Church of Saint Antonino that stands over a 7th-century oratory built to cover the bones of the saint. Teatro Tasso (Tasso Theater), Museo Correale, and Sorrento Cathedral with its neo-gothic façade are all here too along with an extensive array of boutiques, shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants, and bars. You’ll have plenty of accommodation options to choose from too.
Located in the hills on Sorrento’s southwest side, Priora not only offers some fabulous high-value villa hotels at reduced rates as it’s farther from the historic center, but it provides a quieter, more relaxed stay while still being very close to the major attractions. It has the feel of a typical hamlet along the Amalfi Coast and a wider view over the Gulf of Naples. As it isn’t as crowded as the center of town, it’s easier to interact with the locals. You’ll have easy access to the Amalfi Coast as all you need to do is follow the highway out of town. You’ll also be closer to Punta Campanella, one of the most stunning marine protected areas on the peninsula. And, when you want to get to the historic center, it can easily be reached in 20 minutes on foot or a short bus ride.
The same neighborhood for lower accommodation rates offers a more local vibe with a strong rural culture. Situated in the southwest, it offers the charms of a small village without being as crowded as the other central areas. That means you can experience Sorrento’s authentic vibe while being a 20-minute walk from the town center. Or take advantage of the convenient access by bus. You’ll find more authentic restaurants with meals priced for locals rather than tourists, ideal for those who want to sample the most mouthwatering bites. Head to Marina Grande early in the morning when nearly everyone else is still waking up to catch the sunrise and then watch the fishermen as they bring in their fresh catch of the day. Another big pro is that it’s very close to Massa Lubrense, famous for its lemon and olive trees, making it possible to enjoy the incredible aroma that emanates from the area.
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