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Few people need an introduction to Sorrento, as it’s an incredibly popular tourist city on the Italian coast – but since most people visit as a day trip from Naples or the Amalfi Coast, or even as a stop on a Mediterranean cruise, there may be more to Sorrento than you know.

Sorrento is often thought of as part of the Amalfi Coast, but it’s technically not. It’s on what’s known as the Sorrentine Peninsula across the Bay of Naples from the city of Naples, and it can be quite a good base from which to visit many top tourist sights in the area – including Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast, Naples, Paestum, and the island of Capri.

On this page, you’ll find some basic information to help you plan your Sorrento trip, with links to other articles for further details.

Where to Stay in Sorrento

The touristy part of Sorrento is quite small, although the number of hotels and other accommodation options in that small area is fairly substantial. Still, because it’s a limited area that most people want to stay in, that can drive up the price of rooms (especially during the high season). In other words, if your budget isn’t limitless you may be better off researching and booking a place well in advance rather than relying on there being a budget-friendly room available when you arrive.

Another thing to note about Sorrento is that it’s a town in two parts – the part that’s near the water and the port, and the part that’s overhead on top of the cliffs. Most of the hotels and other accommodation is on the cliffs, but not everything is. When you’re looking for a place to stay, be aware of where it is in relation to things like the train station and the port, depending on how you plan to get around.

Here are a couple of resources to help you find accommodation in Sorrento:

Quick link to search for hotels in Sorrento:

What to Do & See in Sorrento

Much of the charm of a visit to Sorrento is in simply wandering through the streets. The central area (on top of the cliffs) is very tourist-friendly, with pedestrian-only areas lined with shops and restaurants. There are a few small museums in Sorrento, and some lovely churches, but the main attraction here is a combination of the nice weather, the beautiful views over the water, and the pretty town itself.

A few of the things you may have on your to-do list in Sorrento are:

  • Shopping – There are shops all over Sorrento, especially concentrated in the town center, selling all kinds of things for which the area is famous. You can buy ceramics, shoes, and specialty foods – and pretty much anything you can’t carry home with you can be shipped.
  • Taste Limoncello – Sorrento is one of the towns that’s famous for producing limoncello, that sweet and syrupy lemon liqueur, and you’ll find it all over town, both on menus and in stores. There’s more than just the standard limoncello, however, so try out all the different flavors to see which you prefer.
  • Hiking – If strolling the quaint streets isn’t enough exertion for you, there are places to go hiking not far from the Sorrento town center. The whole peninsula on toward the Amalfi Coast is great for hiking, and you can hire a local guide to lead the way.
  • Day Trips – There are lots of great day trips that you can take from a home base in Sorrento, including Naples, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Paestum, the Amalfi Coast, and the islands off the coast. Despite being fairly small, it’s well-connected via rail, roads, and its port.

How to Get to Sorrento

As mentioned, Sorrento is pretty well-connected as far as transportation goes, even though it’s a fairly small city. You can reach Sorrento via road, rail, or boat, depending on where you’re coming from. Of course, the roads are narrow and winding, the train is slow, the bus “station” is just the street in front of the train station, and the port is small – but it all works just fine.

You’ll need to investigate your transportation options into Sorrento to see which one suits you best, but since most people will be coming from Naples here are more details about how to get from Naples to Sorrento (and back again). From Naples, usually the two top choices are by train or by boat. From the Amalfi Coast, however, there’s no rail service – so it’s important to find out what your options are from your departure point.

>> Here’s more information about getting around on the Amalfi Coast, too.

The closest airport to Sorrento is Naples Capodichino Airport (NAP), which is very close to the Naples city center. If you’re going directly to Sorrento, take a taxi to Molo Beverello and buy tickets for the next boat once you get to the port. You can buy them in advance, too, but since you never know if everything will be on time at the airport it’s usually easier to wait until you get to the port.

Quick search to find cheap flights to Naples:

photos, top to bottom, by: S J Pinkney, S J Pinkney, Boobooo, S J Pinkney