Amalfi Coast on a Budget

When planning our two month summer trip to Europe, visiting as many places in Italy as possible was high on our agenda. The thing about Italy, however, is that it’s expensive to get around, expensive to stay in, and expensive to eat in. The Amalfi Coast is probably one of the most costly to stay in and eat in. I knew we wanted to go, I knew how much we could afford to spend a night on hotels and I most certainly knew that staying along the coast wasn’t in the books, so I had to improvise.

What happens when we plan trips is that we will begin to draft an itinerary, and price hotels and trains or planes as we go along to see which version of the itinerary makes the most sense both practically and financially. We always book hotels with free cancellation so that if indeed plans do change or, like in this case, we decide we need to book a cheaper hotel to cut costs, then we can do so hassle free.

After initially booking a hotel in Positano for four nights at a cost of €400, we both knew that was way above board what we were prepared to pay. Had it been just those four nights we were travelling then we wouldn’t have thought twice about it, but considering we were gone for nine weeks it was reckless to dedicate that much of our budget to a less than mediocre hotel. We deemed the Amalfi Coast was far beyond what we wanted to spend on accommodation, and it was then we started to look at the possibility of staying in Naples for the duration of our stay and travelling out each day to a different town.

Naples is nowhere near as glamorous as the Amalfi Coast, but as backpackers we weren’t really concerned about that. In order to take the train or boat to the coast, it’s most often necessary to travel via Naples regardless. We were able to squeeze another city into our itinerary, enjoy the incredible Neopolitan food when we returned back to the city every night and save even more money on the cost of food and drink along the water. For us, it wasn’t about saying we had stayed in such a hotel or shopped in such a shop, we genuinely just wanted to go and experience the stunning coastal towns, and that’s exactly what we got to do.

Our hotel in Naples, Hotel Colombo, cost us only €245 for six nights, which saved us €155 and gained us an extra two nights in the area. It was located directly between the port and train station, meaning access to both the boat to Capri and the Circumvesuviana (train) to both Sorrento and Pompeii were only a five minute walk in each direction. It was placed on a quiet side street just off the Corso Umberto I and the Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi.

Trains cost a mere €3.60 in each direction, and the boat to Capri €18 in each direction. The boat is pretty expensive, but because Capri is an island travel to it from both Naples and the towns along the Amalfi Coast are costly and it helps to bear in mind that if you were to stay on Capri you would be required to pay the boat fare, regardless.

Most of the days we stayed in Naples, we left the city in the morning and returned at night from day trips. The city was incredible and offered the perfect base for our travels. It allowed us to see the incredible sights of both Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast without having to worry about the financial aspect of the journey. So, not only were we actually able to go, but we were able to go and not have to worry about how it would impact the budget for the remainder of our trip which ultimately made it all the more enjoyable.

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48 thoughts on “Amalfi Coast on a Budget

  1. Great recommendations; glad you were able to save money while visiting a fabulous corner of Europe. Meticulous planning makes all the difference when it comes to discovering the inexpensive options!

  2. Of course, Naples! I’ve been to Sorrento a couple of times with family, but it was only last year that I took the train out to Naples (en route to a day in Rome, of all things) so I would never have thought of it as a cheaper base for the whole of the coast. The Circumvesuviana is possibly the most terrifying train route I’ve ever taken, but it’s certainly cheap!

    Lis / last year’s girl x

  3. I love Italy as well….three visits in eight years all the way from here. To cut costs even more we stay in airbnb or wimdu places. One place in Rome cost us $37 Australian a night plus you stay with locals in the suburbs. It is the same for France, Spain, England. Great savings

  4. Caitlin we travelled through Europe with our kids in 2015 for around 7 weeks. Our youngest one was only 7 at the time and although we really wanted to go to Naples our travel agent took it off our list and advised us not to stop there as he was concerned for our safety – he has never steered us wrong and it was our first time travelling overseas but we were so disappointed. I’m not certain as to what it is like some 2 years later but at some point we really would like to go. Did you notice anything that would be of concern when travelling with children in Naples?

    1. When we visited in July 2016 there were tons of police and military present during the day, but I didn’t really like going out at night time so we tended to stick to the balcony and bar areas of our hotel!

  5. I’m so glad you posted this! I’ve been dreaming of heading back to the Amalfi Coast! I certainly don’t mind staying in Naples and taking a train/boat everywhere; when I was on the bus to Sorrento, I got SO carsick!

  6. First – YES YES YES! I love what you say about responding to other’s questions regarding your travel. It’s all a matter of priorities and what you are willing to do to make it happen. My jeans are 4 years old. I’m fine with that because I have other things I choose to do with that $$! And love your $$ saving ideas for Amalfi coast. You are right, Italy is not a ‘cheap’ place to visit, but there are ways to trip that budget!

  7. Actually in the midst of attempting to plan the most budget-friendly Italy trip and the Amalfi coast is one of the regions we’re definitely interested in visiting. Super useful!

  8. The Amalfi Coast is gorgeous. The pics alone make me wanna pack my backs and head there. I have been to Cinque Terre which I heard isn’t as stunning as the Amalfi coast. By the way, I can’t believe that you spent only €245 for six nights in a hotel! Girl, I need you as my travel planner!!!!

  9. I disagree that ITALY is blanket “EXPENSIVE TO GET AROUND IN”. I think it depends how and when you travel. For instance, I booked the less convenient travel times by train, and got cheaper routes every time. I guess traveling to Islands where you can only go by boat seems to be more expensive and especially if it’s in high season. Nevertheless, in Italy you get what you pay for. Pure Bliss! I love italy and have so much more to discover in the country, I have now been 4 times but barely scratched the surface of the country.

  10. Great recommendation for a place to stay! That’s what we like to do, too, during our vacation. A room is only for sleeping, shower, and breakfast. If we want to spend time in the hotel, then a resort is the answer.

  11. I want to visit Italy so badly! And I’d love to see as many cities as possible, definitely the Amalfi Coast! It’s good to know that you can get such affordable accommodations in Naples, but still be close enough to enjoy the coast! Thanks for the recommendation!

  12. We were lucky enough to win a trip to the Amalfi coast this summer, and while I did find the area to be stunning, I also found some areas a bit too commercial/ tourist packed. However we did take a day trip to visit Pompeii which is an experience I will never forget – it was incredible to think that five civilisations had walked those streets before me. Thanks for posting about your travels 🙂

  13. I loved your post. It’s more than ten years since I was in that area. We were on a coach trip and our base was in Sorrento but I’ll never forget the hair-raising trip, on a large coach, travelling from there to Ravello via Positano and Amalfi. Reading your post brought it all back – the to-ing and fro-ing as the coach tried to negotiate a really tight corner in Positano, the vertiginous views of colourful buildings clinging to impossible drops over the sea. Thank you.

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