Imagine this: you’re in the beautiful Italian town of Sorrento. You might have your elegant, rose gold suitcase in tow, as you prepare to embark on the last part of your journey to the Amalfi Coast. Or you might be staying in Sorrento, looking forward to an epic day trip. But then you realize the awful truth… you don’t actually know how to get from Sorrento to Amalfi. Horror!
I’m sure you’ll agree, that’s totally not the best way to get your glamorous Amalfi Coast vacation off to a good start. Neither is it ideal if you’re staying in Sorrento, but desperate to see one of the world’s most famed pieces of coastline.
But does it have to be that way?
Nope! Because I’ve stayed on the Amalfi Coast five times, and I’m going to let you in on exactly how to get from Sorrento to Amalfi – and it’s going to be so easy, you won’t even break a sweat. You’ll be able to glide past everyone else, and look like a local – and you’ll even be able to snag the best views of the Amalfi Coast whilst you do it.
What is this witchcraft? Well, let’s find out!
Hol’ up: how far is it from Sorrento to Amalfi?
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. “Is Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast? I thought it was! How far away is it, exactly?”
Well, no it’s not on the Amalfi Coast. But it kinda is. But it’s not near Amalfi, which is on the Amalfi Coast.
Heck, here’s a graphic:
So, let me explain. Sorrento is not on the Amalfi Coast – as you can see, Sorrento and Amalfi are located on the same peninsula, but they don’t share the same coastline. The Amalfi Coast is generally defined as the stretch between Positano and Amalfi/Ravello, where the road winds its way along picturesque cliffs on the Bay of Salerno. Sorrento sits on the other side, on the Bay of Naples.
BUT. Even though it’s not on the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento is the gateway to that area. If you’re coming from the north, you simply can’t get to Positano or Amalfi without going through Sorrento (certainly not by public transport, anyway).
So, that’s why Sorrento is considered an honorary member of the Amalfi Coast family, because it’s forever tied to it, like that cousin who isn’t your immediate family, but you love them just the same. In terms of distance and time, the town of Amalfi is about 30 miles from Sorrento, and the journey takes 1h 30m by bus.
Getting to Sorrento from Naples
Of course, if you’re heading to the Amalfi Coast, you’re going to need to travel from Naples to Sorrento first. Uh oh, another roadblock, right?
Again, nope! Check out my guide on how to get to Sorrento from Naples, for the absolute easiest – and cheapest – way to get there. You can travel directly from Naples Airport, spend very little cash, and go via the exact same route you would take in a taxi. You can sit back, and watch Mount Vesuvius and the ancient Roman town of Pompeii go by, before arriving rested and refreshed in Sorrento.
I’m all about making travel stress-free and easy, and this certainly ticks all the boxes! As does the journey from Sorrento to Amalfi, which is what we’re going to conquer next!
How to get from Sorrento to Amalfi by bus
Want to know a little-known fact?
Here it is: although the Amalfi Coast is known for its glamour, and for being a teensy bit expensive, it’s actually ridiculously simple – and cheap – to get from Sorrento to Amalfi.
Back on my first visit to Sorrento, I thought that the only way to see the Amalfi towns was by private tour. Oh, how naive I was! Whether you’re staying in Positano or Amalfi, or whether you’re just heading there for a day trip, you do not need to take an expensive tours.
You can go there simply by purchasing a bus ticket, for a journey that takes you on exactly the same route and gives you the exact same views. Let’s check out how!
Buying a bus ticket from Sorrento to Amalfi
Okay, let’s go back to our scenario, where you’re standing in Sorrento, ready to hop on board a bus to Amalfi for some quite fabulous times. What’s the first step?
First of all, you need to find your way to Sorrento’s train station – which also doubles up as Sorrento bus station! If you’ve just arrived in Sorrento, it’s going to be incredibly easy to find, because the chances are that you’re already there. Whether you’ve traveled to Sorrento by train, or whether you’ve made use of the awesome bus service from Naples I linked to above, you’re going to be dropped off at the train station.
Already in Sorrento? The train station is still easy to find: it’s a mere five minute walk down the Corso Italia from the central Piazza Tasso. Follow the direction of traffic (if you go past the clothes shops, supermarket and cinema then you’re heading in the right direction), and keep an eye out to your right – the station is just off a turning, on Via Ernesto de Curtis.
Stand right in front of Sorrento train station. You might be tempted to hop straight on to the buses to your left – which are clearly marked with destinations of either “POSITANO” or “AMALFI”, but don’t do that yet. The bus drivers don’t sell the tickets.
Instead, look straight ahead of you, and you’ll see a statue of G. Battista de Curtis with a small staircase to the right. Head up those steps, and you’ll see a shop directly ahead of you, marked “TICKETS”.
This tiny shop is a tobacconist, but it’s where you buy tickets for the SITA bus service. Feel free to bust out your finest Italian language skills, but don’t worry if you don’t have any – the guys in here have impeccable customer service (they’ll help you decide which ticket you need if you’re not sure), and speak excellent English.
How much is the ticket from Sorrento to Amalfi?
A simple one-way ticket from Sorrento to Amalfi should cost you €2.90.
If you’re taking a day trip from Sorrento to Amalfi ONLY, you’ll need to find a tobacconist in Amalfi to buy your ticket back – there’s one by the harbour, where all the buses are parked.
If you’re taking a day trip from Sorrento to Positano, Amalfi and Ravello, you can buy the 24 hour ticket, also known as the COSTIERASITA. This costs €10, and gives you a hop-on-hop-off ticket which lasts for 24 hours after activation.
Check the SITA and Unico Campania sites for the latest info on ticket prices, and the SITA bus timetable. But, speaking of activation…
Activating your ticket, and getting on the bus
You can now exit the tobacconist in Sorrento train station, go back down those steps, and board the bus! But you’ve got something important to do first.
Take your ticket, and insert it into a validation machine. If you’re boarding at the driver’s door, this will be located just to his side. If you’re boarding at the mid-way door, it’ll be attached to a stanchion. They’re usually a bright yellow, and fairly hard to miss.
It’s SUPER important that you do this, because if you don’t, you can be hit with a pretty hefty fine, and that’s no way to be spending your well-earned vacation, nor your well-earned cash.
Now, you can sit down! Assuming that there’s seats left, because this is an incredibly busy service – if you definitely want a seat and it’s looking a bit rammed, wait for the next one; the buses run pretty regularly!
If you want the best views, sit on the left-hand side as you board. That means you’ll be on the sea side, and able to enjoy some pretty- jaw-dropping landscapes as you sit back! Speaking of, don’t worry too much about missing your stop – the driver will call out each stop as he arrives.
How long does the bus take from Sorrento to Amalfi?
Trust me, with those views, you’re not going to get bored! But it takes 60 minutes for the bus to get to Positano (the first major stop), with a travel time of 90 minutes to Amalfi.
Are there other ways to get there?
Sure is! The sea is your other route from Sorrento to Amalfi – it’s considerably more expensive, but less crowded, and just that little bit more glam.
As with buses, you’ve no need to take a private boat tour – unless you want to, which is completely understandable given that this is one of the most beautiful bits of coastline in the world! Why not treat yourself, right?
If you do fancy seeing the Amalfi Coast in style, I thoroughly recommend Restart private boat tours, which have a comprehensive list of tours and taxi services available to you. It’s a family-run business, and they really excel at making a trip absolutely perfect, whether you’re using their taxi service from Sorrento to Amalfi or enjoying their Capri tours once you’re settled in. You can’t do better!
If you’re happier with a normal ferry, there’s plenty of services running from Sorrento to Amalfi and Positano. You’re going to have to head down to Sorrento’s Marina Piccola (and yep, that means “small marina”, but it’s actually the big one) – if you’ve arrived at Sorrento train station, you can either catch a bus down there, or walk it. It’s not a tricky walk, and with the aid of Google Maps or maps.me you’ll find it easy to navigate.
Locate the sunken ticket office – seriously, it’s in a sort-of open air pit – queue at any of the desks which state Amalfi as a destination, and you’ll be on the next boat! Bear in mind though that the ferry only runs twice a day – check the Sorrento to Amalfi ferry schedules here.
Neat, thanks! Do you have any more info on the Amalfi Coast?
I certainly do! And I’m very happy to share it with you: southern Italy, and the Amalfi Coast in particular, is like a second home to me, and I want to help you love it – and your travel – as much as I do!
Let’s start with the basics. If you’re looking for accommodation, check out my guide to the best Amalfi Coast hotels, or if staying in a hotel isn’t your thing, the best Amalfi Coast Airbnbs!
Got a place to stay? Awesome! Now you can research and explore the wonderful towns and sights you’re going to be visiting!
How to get from Sorrento to Capri
Instagrammable places on the Amalfi Coast
The best pizza in Naples (crucial!)
Want more? Pop your email address into the form at the top of this page (just there on the right-hand side), and you’ll be signed up to my newsletter! My Amalfi Coast obsession means that I’m always publishing new content about the area, so you’ll be getting it hot off the press with zero spam!
I really hope you’ve found these instructions on how to get from Sorrento to Amalfi by bus useful! It’s easy peasy – as long as you know how, meaning that it’s also really easy to get thoroughly confused by it if you’re doing it for the first time. But you’re now armed with all the info you need!
If you’ve found this useful, or marginally entertaining, how about giving it a share using those lovely social media buttons on the left? One click, and you get to show off that you’re heading to the Amalfi Coast!
If you’re super-smart, pin the below images to Pinterest! That way, you get a permanent bookmark back to this page for when you need it – for example, you can easily read this again on your phone when you’re travelling from Naples to Sorrento, and have the info fresh and ready to go when you arrive at the train station. That’s what the Italians call perfetto!
Poppy Mae HigginsAugust 8, 2020 at 12:21 am
I’ve always wanted to go to amalfi coast so this was a great read!
DanieleAugust 13, 2020 at 4:23 am
Such a detailed and well written article! I actually learnt quite a few new things about the area. This shows that I have to study a bit more my country 😅
Keep up with all the amazing content you post on here!!
Rupsa ChakrabortiSeptember 15, 2020 at 8:55 pm
Hi, it was an amazing read. I juts wanted to confirm that while going from Sorrento to Positano, on which side of the bus do we need to sit to get the sea view? Left or right?
thatanxioustravellerSeptember 15, 2020 at 9:28 pm
Hi Rupsa! 🙂 You want to be on the right hand side (so not behind the driver!). Have a great time there!