Things to do in Sorrento

Things to do in  Sorrento

When life hands you limoncello...

The town of Sorrento sits on the Sorrentine Peninsula overlooking the Bay of Naples, which flows into the Mediterranean Sea, with Naples to the north and the Amalfi Coast to the south. It's a popular vacation destination and cruise port, and is similar to picturesque cliffside towns such as Positano and Amalfi on the Amalfi Coast proper. The city also serves as a practical base from which to explore the region, with multiple transportation connections and many tours using it as a hub. A walking or bus tour of Naples is available from Sorrento, and a boat tour to the nearby island of Capri—where you’ll find the iridescent Blue Grotto among other sights—is a must-do. The famous excavation at Pompeii is also close by; and you can learn more about Mount Vesuvius, the volcano that looms large over the landscape and that buried that ancient city, on a tour of the Unesco World Heritage Site. Another less visited ancient city also buried by the eruption, Herculaneum, is nearby; and tours to the two sites are often combined. Sorrento itself is well known for its pedestrian-friendly city center, where streets are lined with boutiques and restaurants and well-suited to a walking tour. Note that the citrus that grows so well in this area is put to good use in the delicious limoncello that is sold nearly everywhere in the city, and a food tour will introduce you to the liqueur and other tastes of the region.

Top 15 attractions in Sorrento

Mt. Vesuvius (Monte Vesuvio)

Looming above the Bay of Naples, Mt. Vesuvius (Monte Vesuvio) famously erupted in AD 79, covering Pompeii in ash and preserving the ruins of the Roman city for thousands of years. The volcano remains the only active one in continental Europe—despite this, many visitors hike to the crater to catch one-of-a-kind views of Pompeii, the Bay of Naples, and the surrounding Italian countryside.More

Baths of the Queen Giovanna (Bagni della Regina Giovanna)

One of the most remote and beautiful beaches on Italy's Sorrento coast, the Baths of the Queen Giovanna (Bagni della Regina Giovanna) is set along the rocky cliffs of Capo di Sorrento near a dramatic natural stone arch and the ancient ruins of a Roman villa. This stretch of coastline and its natural pool are accessible only by foot or private boat.More

Emerald Grotto (Grotta dello Smeraldo)

Tucked beneath the famous highway that skirts Italy's Amalfi Coast, the Emerald Grotto (Grotta dello Smeraldo) is one of the most popular attractions on this iconic stretch of coastline. Discovered in 1932 by a local fisherman, this marine cave is known for the turquoise water that fills the cavern with an emerald-green light when the sun’s rays filter up through a fissure beneath its surface. It’s covered with limestone stalagmites and stalactites more commonly associated with inland caves, and attracts travelers to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast.More


Tiny Ravello, an idyllic village along the Amalfi Coast, has a long history and vibrant cultural life. Founded by Romans in the sixth century, this picturesque clifftop town is today a haven for travelers drawn to its views, villas, and gardens. Home to Villa Rufolo, which has hosted luminaries from Richard Wagner to Jacqueline Kennedy, and Villa Cimbrone, known for its panoramic views, Ravello is an elegant respite from the crowds along the coast.More

Marina Grande

Sorrento's tiny fishing village of Marina Grande is known for its colorful wooden boats bobbing in the harbor, and local fishermen still mend their nets by hand just steps from sunbathers along the beach. At the heart of Marina Grande is the Church of Sant’Anna, dedicated to the town’s patron saint, and a shore lined with small, family-run restaurants serving fresh Mediterranean fish and seafood.More


Tucked between Amalfi Coast superstars Positano and Amalfi, tiny Praiano has managed to retain the feel of a sleepy fishing village, with a slower pace and friendlier vibe than its flashy neighbors. Sidle up beside locals at a café or in the piazza and soak in the Mediterranean views—and the timeless atmosphere—of this pretty seaside gem.More

Piazza Tasso

Sitting astride the steep gorge that once divided the cliff-top center of Sorrento, Piazza Tasso is the pulsating heart of one of Italy’s most popular seaside resort towns. This bustling, café-lined main square is where locals and visitors alike come to see and be seen, and to admire the square’s baroque church and 18th-century palace.More

Spaggia Grande Beach

There is no better stretch of beach in Positano to take a dip or work on your tan than Spiaggia Grande, next to the Marina Grande port. At this well-provisioned beach you can rent a sun lounger and umbrella, stroll the beach walk, grab a meal at a beachfront restaurant, or hop on a ferry to other coastal destinations or the islands.More

Sorrento Cruise Port (Sorrento Terminal Crociere)

The bustling Sorrento Cruise Port (Sorrento Terminal Crociere) is a popular stop for passengers looking to explore Italy's Campania coast. While Sorrento is a charming resort town and destination in its own right, it also serves as a transportation hub and jumping-off point for excursions to the Amalfi Coast, Capri, Pompeii, and other destinations on the Bay of Naples.More

Mitigliano Beach (Cala di Mitigliano)

This pristine pebble beach along the coastline of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula is tucked in a tiny cove enclosed by steep cliffs, making it both extraordinarily scenic and refreshingly remote. As it can only be reached by land via a steep footpath, Cala di Mitigliano is a favorite swim and snorkeling spot on boat tours from Sorrento.More

Cloister of San Francesco (Chiostro di San Francesco)

The picturesque Cloister of San Francesco offers a tranquil reprieve from the bustling streets of Sorrento’s historic center. Set between a 7th-century monastery and a late-medieval church—both dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi—the cloister is a showpiece of architectural styles and one of the city’s top attractions.More


Belching out jets of steam and sulfurous fumes for four millennia, the volcanic crater of Solfatara is a vivid reminder that southern Italy is a hotbed of geothermal activity, giving rise to everything from Ischia’s hot springs and Mt. Vesuvius’s puffing peak. Visit this spot in the Phlegrean Fields to witness its rumblings first-hand.More

Sorrento St. Anthony Basilica (Basilica di Sant’Antonino)

The most important church in Sorrento, the St. Anthony Basilica (Basilica di Sant’Antonino) is dedicated to the town’s patron saint. Visit the church during a walking tour of the city to view the sumptuous interiors, St. Antonius’s crypt, and votive offerings of sailors who survived shipwrecks thanks to the intervention of this saint, the patron of rescues.More

Macellum of Pozzuoli (Temple of Serapis)

Located just inland from the port of Pozzuoli, the 1st-century ruins of the Macellum of Pozzuoli, also known as the Temple of Serapis, are a delight for archaeology buffs. This ancient Roman market is located in the Phlegraean Fields and its columns rise directly from a brackish pool of water, as the site has sunk below sea level.More

Correale di Terranova Museum (Museo Correale di Terranova)

Set on the clifftop of the seaside resort town of Sorrento, the Correale di Terranova Museum occupies a historic villa overlooking the sea and is home to the Correale family’s private art collection of 17th- and 18th-century Neapolitan paintings, decorative arts, and archaeological artifacts—the most important in the city.More

Top activities in Sorrento

Tour to the Amalfi Coast Positano, Amalfi & Ravello from Sorrento
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Skip The Line Pompeii Guided Tour & Mt. Vesuvius from Sorrento
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Sorrento: Exclusive Capri Boat Tour and Optional Blue Grotto
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Capri Boat Tour From Sorrento
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Capri Boat Tour From Sorrento

Cook like a local with Seaview

Cook like a local with Seaview

Capri & Blue Grotto Boat Trip-Prime Experience with max. 8 guests from Sorrento
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Amalfi Coast Tour From Sorrento
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Amalfi Coast Tour From Sorrento

Skip the line Pompeii Guided Tour from Sorrento
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Capri, Anacapri & Blue Grotto from Naples or Sorrento- Small Group Tour
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All about Sorrento

When to visit

The best times to visit Sorrento are in spring and fall when the weather is milder, the crowds have departed or not yet arrived, and the town’s charming cafés, restaurants, and hotels remain open (some close early between November and April). Summer, in particular July and August, are packed with action, including the feast day of Sant’Anna and Ferragosto, carnival-like celebrations which bring beach parties, concerts, and fireworks.

Getting around

Sorrento is compact and best explored on foot. Bicycle and scooter rentals—and tours—are popular for traveling further afield along the Amalfi Coast. To get to Sorrento, ferries are your best bet: 40-minute rides from Naples are available year-round (except on off-season weekends); and hour-long rides from Salerno and Ischia are available in summer. The Circumvesuviana commuter train runs roughly every half-hour from Naples to Sorrento, but it can get crowded and hot during the week.

Traveler tips

The island of Capri is not far from Sorrento—in fact it’s just across the water from Punta Campanella on the Sorrento Peninsula. Rather than take a ferry there, intrepid travelers can rent a gommone—a motorized inflatable boat—and reach the island on their own in under an hour. If the boat is small enough, you won’t need a license. Once there, you can explore the coves, beaches, and grottos only reachable by sea.


People Also Ask

What is Sorrento known for?

Sorrento’s strategic position on the Gulf of Naples makes it an easy gateway to the Amalfi Coast. Trains, ferries, buses, and tour groups all converge here, sprinting travelers to Positano and beyond. For Italians, the town is synonymous with its abundant lemon groves—and the limoncello liqueur made from them.

How many days do you need in Sorrento?

One day is enough to see the historic center, stop for olive oil and limoncello tastings, and explore the Museobottega della Tarsialignea, dedicated to local marquetry traditions. The beauty of Sorrento, however, lies in the proximity to the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, and Capri—and each requires another full day.

What is the best part of Sorrento to stay in?

If it’s your first visit, stick to the historic center. Piazza Tasso is near accommodations, many restaurants, and public transportation. East of town, Sant’Agnello boasts the best views and cliffside resorts. Those looking for affordable stays should try Priora, a hilly, quiet hamlet about 15 minutes from Sorrento by car.

What can I do in Sorrento?

Plenty. Explore the historic quarter’s tangle of pastel houses and arched lanes. Sample olive oils and limoncello—or gnocchi alla Sorrentina. Take a boat to Capri, a train to Pompeii, or a kayak to Punta Campanella. For something different, visit the Museobottega della Tarsialignea—dedicated to wood inlaying traditions.

Is Sorrento better than Amalfi?

It depends. Amalfi is smaller, slightly prettier, and more characteristically of the Amalfi Coast—cliffside, terraced roads descend through the town to the elegant waterfront. Sorrento has more public transportation, varied accommodations, and can be less exclusive. It’s a more practical base for exploring the Amalfi Coast and farther afield.

Is Sorrento expensive?

Yes, relatively. Sorrento is more expensive than Naples but less so than Capri and the Amalfi Coast. During the high season, especially from July through August, prices rise as the town swells with tourists. It’s home to designer hotels, but also modest, rustic charms if you look for them.

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