10 Best budget tips for Amalfi Coast trip

Did you know Amalfi Coast, Italy was recently named the “Most expensive Summer destination in Europe“? Well, I certainly didn’t before booking my trip! But I found out during and after my trip. The flight and hotel were already costing a lot, for not so convenient flight timings and average accommodation respectively, but somehow I managed to spend even more after getting off my flight!! If my bank account was a person, its eyebrows would be off the forehead and hands would be planted on the face every time I opened my wallet 😨 🤦‍♀️.

But I learnt from my mistake of doing a 10-day trip to the Amalfi coast. And here are some Insider Tips and Tricks for Exploring the Breathtaking Amalfi Coast on a Budget. I wish my future self can go back to my past self and give this blog 😀

The Amalfi Coast, with its stunning vistas, charming villages, and azure waters, is a dream destination for many. However, its reputation for luxury might deter budget-conscious travellers. The good news is that with some intelligent planning and insider tips, you can experience the beauty of the Amalfi Coast without breaking the bank. In this blog, I’ll guide you through budget-friendly ways to make the most of your trip to this Italian paradise.

1. Off-Peak Travel

Timing is crucial when it comes to budget travel. The high season for visiting Amalfi Coast is June – August, making it very costly with streets full of tourists. It is the best time to spend time on the beach but it is not fun when you have to fight for everything, from a spot on the beach to queuing up for your favourite restaurant.

Consider visiting the Amalfi Coast during the shoulder seasons of spring (April-May) and fall (September-October). During these months, the weather is still pleasant, crowds are thinner, and accommodations and activities are often more affordable. As said by one of the locals September is the best time to visit Amalfi Coast. Not only are there fewer people in the streets, but that’s when the prices also start to dip while the weather is still quite excellent.

You can also try visiting in October but everything starts closing down and the weather becomes quite nippy so don’t even think about swimming in the sea.

Visit Amalfi Coast in September.

2. Affordable Accommodation

I have a lot of tips I would share on choosing accommodation, as this is the primary thing that you can save on and yet snag a good deal. The Amalfi Coast towns are tiny, hence you just don’t have a ton of accommodation to choose from, making your choices fewer and costlier.

  • While luxury hotels are aplenty, there are also budget-friendly options like guesthouses, hostels, and vacation rentals. Look for accommodations slightly inland from the coast, in towns like Agerola, Sorrento, Praiano, Maiori, Vietri sul Mare, Scala, Salerno, Pontone or Minori, where prices tend to be lower than Positano, Amalfi and Ravello.
  • Booking well in advance can also help you snag the best deals. Don’t wait until a week before your trip. Not only will you pay more because of pro-casting but also miss that cute sea view room.
  • Sea-view rooms are amazing but honestly ask yourself, do you need a sea-view room in every town you go to? Don’t be like me, I did that and ended up paying 500 euros per night for a “crappy reception room turned into a bedroom” in Positano. Look for things that will matter when you are in the room like air-conditioning, sufficient netting on windows to save from bugs and basic amenities.
  • Airbnbs and hotels cost the same on the Amalfi Coast, so research and plan beforehand.

Click here and read this blog, I have put a list of accommodations in every town, from luxury to budget options.

Book accommodations in advance and book slightly inland from the coast, in towns like Agerola, Sorrento, Praiano, Maiori, Vietri sul Mare, Scala, Salerno, Pontone or Minori. Do not book in Positano, Amalfi or Ravello.

3. Use Public Transportation

Renting a car might seem appealing, but the narrow, winding roads of the Amalfi Coast can be challenging to navigate. It is expected in South Italy that the car gets more banged up and you need to get more insurance, which in turn increases the cost of a simple car rental.

Car Rental, Insurance, Gasoline, And parking, for just 3 1/2 days, that car cost can go over €400!

Instead, rely on the region’s excellent public transportation network. Buses and ferries connect the coastal towns, offering breathtaking views along the way at a fraction of the cost. We took a private transfer from Naples airport to Ravello which cost us 120 but while getting back we took the ferry from Capri to Naples for 20 per person and then the airport bus for 2.

We hopped around from one town to another either by bus or ferry. The bus cost just 1.30 and the ferries around 10-20 depending on distance. The buses are air-conditioned and very comfortable and the ferries are quite fast in taking you from A to B, in all much more cost-effective than having the car for a day.

Use private transfer from Naples to Amalfi Coast to save time, and then use public transfers for going around Amalfi Coast towns.

4. Dining in Amalfi Coast

Dining out can be a major expense as food will easily be one of your top daily expenses during your trip to the Amalfi Coast. Nowhere is it more true than on the Amalfi coast, as any main dish will usually be €15-25 minimum, a glass of wine €6-9 and cocktails are naturally even higher. A traditional Italian lunch has several courses such as antipasto, primo, secondo, contorno, dolce and caffe, but don’t get overwhelmed when you open the menu card and order what you can eat.

The best would be to get a bnb with an attached kitchen so you can go to the local grocer and get some simple veggies, cheese, eggs, bread and pasta. If not then at the very least you should be able to make your own simple breakfast or sandwiches.

Don’t worry – you can savour the local flavours without overspending. Seek out local markets and bakeries for fresh produce, cheeses, and bread. Enjoy a picnic on the beach or in a scenic park, soaking in the atmosphere without the hefty restaurant bill. We had a kitchen in Ravello and we found a local farmers market after asking several locals and got some pasta, rice, eggs, cheese, tomatoes and cooked on the days we wanted to eat in. And while we were in Amalfi and Positano we found some local market and tiny shops serving the best local dishes on the days we didn’t want to eat same old touristy restaurant food or spend on a high-end joint.

Try not to eat out for every meal. Stay in Airbnb and cook some of your meals instead of dining out every day.

5. Wine, Aperol and Champagne

Can’t imagine being on the shores of Amalfi Coast without a glass of Aperol Spritz. Being on holiday, summer in Italy cannot go without a glass of wine in hand. Be it on the beach or sailing on the boat or sitting under a lemon groove restaurant, sipping on cocktails and taking in the views is part of the package of travelling to the Amalfi coast.

However, as mentioned above a glass of wine would be €6-9 and cocktails are naturally even higher. Luckily I found a workaround accidentally when we decided to get some drinks after the beach club closed. Go to any of the alcohol outlets and get a small bottle of champagne, Prosecco, a big bottle of wine or a tiny Aperol spritz. They cost much less than just a glass in restaurants and cocktail bars.

Buy bottles of Aperol spritz, champagne and wine from the local stores.

6. Dine away from the main squares

As usual with any popular tourist location, the more central the eatery, the more expensive it’s likely to be. And it’s the same everywhere be it Rome or Paris, if you eat in the tourist areas, you’re going to pay for it. But unfortunately, the entire Amalfi Coast is basically a tourist area – so how can you go a little off the beaten path in order to save some money?

What you can do instead is to go to restaurants along Amalfi Drive. Since a lot of people don’t rent cars to explore the Amalfi Coast, it means they all try to pack themselves into the restaurants in the middle of town. Some of the restaurants even offer shuttle service from Positano, Ravello. So check in to what options you have to get out of town, or at least walk a little further from the main square to see the prices drop a bit. Walk up a hill, or down some stairs, and you will start to see the prices dip.

Dine away from tourist spots.

7. Hiking Adventures

Amalfi coast is a natural beauty. With all the glitz, glamour and advertisement we forget what is there for everyone to see and behold. There are a lot of free things to do in and around all the towns of Amalfi Coast and the best and cost-free experiences are the hiking trails.

It is also one of the best ways to experience the Amalfi Coast’s natural beauty, through its hiking trails. The famous Path of the Gods offers awe-inspiring views and is completely free. Another one is visiting the Fiordo di Furore. Lace up your hiking boots and explore the coastal landscapes while saving on costly guided tours.

Other things that are also free: Relax on the beach, take leisurely walks through charming villages like Positano and Ravello, and explore historic sites like the Duomo di Amalfi. Many towns also have free summer concerts and festivals – perfect for immersing yourself in local culture.

Take advantage of all the free activities like the Amalfi Coast’s many hiking trails.

8. Low-Cost Activities

While the Amalfi Coast offers numerous paid attractions, there are also plenty of free and low-cost activities to enjoy.

 If you’re going to do activities, don’t wait until the last minute to book them! Don’t be like us 😀 You might find yourself in a situation where the only option is much more expensive, but since you consider it an essential experience, you’ll make yourself pay more than you otherwise would have.

For example, We wanted to do a boat tour and didn’t book anything beforehand, went to Amalfi town and our hotel gave us an offer for €500 for 3 hrs. So we walked down the marina and asked the vendors who gave us €300 for 3 hours. However, if we were early enough we could have got it booked online for €155-175.

Use these websites to get amazing deals:

  • Get your Guide: Love to use this website every time I book tours.
  • Viator: Another amazing website to get tons of deals on activities and tours.

Book your activity tours in advance before the trip.

9. Plan Ahead

Research and planning are key to budget travel success. Create an itinerary that includes free or low-cost activities, so you have a clear idea of what you’ll be doing each day. Look for discounts on attraction tickets, and consider purchasing a pass that offers entry to multiple sites at a reduced rate.

And if you have better control over your expenditures, you can pick and choose some luxury items too.

Planning and research in advance is the key.

10. Souvenir Shopping Smarts

Bringing back souvenirs is part of the travel experience, but they can quickly add up. Opt for unique, locally made items from artisans rather than mass-produced trinkets. Shopping in smaller towns away from the main tourist areas can also yield better prices.

Try not to shop for big items in Positano or Amalfi and instead buy them in the far-off towns. Like buying those lemon print dresses, a bottle of limoncello to take home or even as small as tons of magnets.

Buy souvenirs from smaller towns instead of the big touristy Amalfi coast towns.

Visiting the Amalfi Coast on a budget is not only possible but also rewarding. By choosing the right timing, accommodations, transportation, and activities, you can enjoy the unparalleled beauty of this coastal paradise without emptying your wallet. Embrace the local culture, soak in the breathtaking scenery, and create memories that will last a lifetime – all without breaking the bank. Your dream Amalfi Coast adventure is closer than you think!

Let me know in the comments if you have more tips and tricks that have worked for you, would love to hear them.

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