Let’s face it, I am obsessed with Italy, and Sorrento, Italy, is one of the reasons why. There are so many things to do in Sorrento that you could easily stay busy for months!
This charming coastal town is nestled on the south side of the Bay of Naples. It is a premier vacation destination if you are looking for Italian charm accompanied by incredible coastal views!
There aren’t many places in the world where you can sip freshly made limoncello while being surrounded by historic architecture as you watch the sunset over the Bay of Naples.
When you combine that with the fact that Sorrento is surrounded by incredible cities such as Pompeii, Amalfi, Capri, and Naples, you know you are in for a treat.
During our time in Sorrento, I wished I would never leave. There is just something magical about Sorrento. I don’t know if it was the cobblestone streets or the delicious gelato, but I truly fell in love with Sorrento.
Let’s dive into all of the fabulous Sorrento, Italy attractions.
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Things To Do In Sorrento
1. Piazza Tasso
Sorrento’s Main Square
The main square in Sorrento is Piazza Tasso. As Sorrento’s center of “life,” the piazza is a fabulous place to get acclimated to the city’s vibe.
Built in the 19th century, Piazza Tasso always seemed busy and was one of my favorite places to grab a coffee and watch people.
Exploring the shops and the local churches around Piazzo Tasso makes you feel as if you have been transported back in time. I loved the old-style architecture, the cobblestone streets, and the narrow alleyways leading off Piazza Tasso.
2. Marina Grande
Oceanside Restaurants and More
Marian Grande translates to a large marina, but Marina Grande is the small of the two marinas that you will find in Sorrento, Italy.
Getting to Marina Grande from the city center is easy. You can walk down the stone staircase or take a taxi from town to the marina.
Marina Grande is the perfect place to visit if you love being near the water. You can enjoy dinner with a view at one of the great seaside restaurants before you shop ’til you drop at the fun stores that call Marina Grande home.
I love the rustic, old-world charm of Marina Grande, especially the cute church, Chiesa di Sant’Anna.
Marina Grande is also the place to visit if you want to enjoy one of the sandy beaches on the Amalfi Coast. I love that the beach here is volcanic, so the sand looks and feels a little different than the Riviera Maya and Cancun beaches that we often frequent.
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3. Marina Piccola
Ferries and Boat Tours
Marina Piccola, which translates to a small marina, is misleading as this is Sorrento’s central transportation hub and where you will probably come if you take a boat tour from Sorrento.
The easiest way to think of Marina Piccola is to consider it as having two sides. Marina Piccola’s eastern side is the busy port side where all ferries and boats come and go, while the western side is the chill side of the marina where you can relax and enjoy the ocean.
On the west side of Marina Piccola, you will find many of Sorrento’s beach clubs, making it a great place to come and enjoy soaking up the Mediterranean climate.
When you are ready to explore Marina Piccola, remember that there are a few options to get here. From Piazza Tasso, you can walk down the steep steps, down the main road, and then take the lift or take the public bus (recommended if you have luggage). Of course, a taxi is also an option, but they are pretty expensive, so we don’t recommend them.
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4. The Duomo Di Sorrento
Historic Church in Sorrento
The Sorrento Cathedral is called the Cathedral of Saint Phillips and James (also known as the Duomo Sorrento).
Built in the 11th century, the Duomo Di Sorrento boasts the original 11th-century doors on the exterior of the building, but the interior really impresses.
Once inside, you find yourself surrounded by marble pillars, incredible frescoes, and grand Italian architecture.
For history buffs like us, this is a must-see while in Sorrento.
5. Sorrento’s Beach Clubs
Relax on the Amalfi Coast
Granted, Sorrento isn’t known for its beaches but for having a picturesque coastline.
When you visit Sorrento, you have to take a day to relax on the gorgeous Amalfi Coast.
These clubs in Sorrento make it easy for you to enjoy a relaxing day by the water. You show up (or reserve in advance), and they take care of the rest.
Rent a chair and umbrella and soak in the Italian sunshine for a day. The best part is that the clubs here also have food and drinks to purchase, so you don’t have to pack up a bunch of stuff to enjoy a day by the water!
Most of the clubs are located at Marina Piccola. Some to consider are Leonelli’s Beach Club and Marameo Beach Club.
Pro Tip: The beach clubs get very crowded during the high season and can often sell out. Be sure to book your chair in advance to ensure that you can enjoy a relaxing day by the water while you visit Sorrento. In May, visiting Sorrento, Italy, is a great time to enjoy the beach without a massive influx of crowds.
6. The Path Of The Gods
Awesome Hiking Trail
One thing is for sure; the Amalfi Coast has some incredible hiking trails. I am talking trails for all ability levels, offering gorgeous views of the Italian countryside and coastline.
One of the best trails in the area is the Path of the Gods.
The Path of the Gods is a challenging six-mile trail that rewards you for your hard work with incredible views of the Amalfi Coast.
I don’t recommend heading out on your own to tackle this path, as it can be pretty challenging. We advise hiring a local guide to assist you in ensuring that you stay safe!
7. Bagni Della Regina Giovanna
Picturesque Swimming Area
The Bagni Della Regina Giovanna contains the ruins of an ancient Roman villa, the Villa Pollio Felice, and a beautiful natural swimming pool separated from the sea by an incredible rock arch.
Swimming in the natural pool surrounded by the rocky outcropping makes you feel as if you are on the cover of a romance novel! It is a surreal experience and should be on your list of things to do in Sorrento.
The area is about 10 minutes from Sorrento and is easily accessible from town by taking the 5070 bus. Get off at the Camposorrento stop, and you have a 10-minute walk to reach the swimming area.
Walking along the coastline, you can also access the Bagni Della Regina Giovanna. This is a rocky walk along natural terrain, so wear sturdy water shoes during your visit.
8. Basilica Of Sant’Antonino
Sorrento’s Oldest Church
If you like historic churches, then the Basilica of Sant’Antonino should be on your list of things to do in Sorrento.
The city’s oldest church is located just off the town square.
The church was named after the patron Saint of Sorrento and still houses his remains inside.
In addition, the Basilica of Sant’Antonino is a gorgeous historic church and is also home to the Cloister of San Francesco noted below.
9. Cloister of San Francesco
You will find the Cloister of San Francesco in the same complex as the Basilica of Sant’Antonino noted above.
The beautiful abbey is part of an incredible historical complex that houses architectural styles from the 7th to the 14th century.
Take some time to meditate in the peaceful courtyard and enjoy the calming serenity that the complex offers. If you are visiting during the summer, you will also be treated to the gorgeous flowering vines draping throughout the courtyard.
This is one of the most popular places in Sorrento for weddings and wedding photographs so you might see a bride and groom during your visit!
The complex also houses many performances throughout the year as well.
10. Villa Comunale Park
You probably passed through Villa Comunale Park from Sorrento’s town center to the Cloister of San Francesco.
This incredible park is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city while surrounding yourself with historic Sorrento.
In the surrounding area, you will find an archaeological museum, a beautiful garden area, and some incredible views of the Gulf of Naples and Mount Vesuvius.
The park is also home to events throughout the year. If you are lucky, you might catch a theatrical performance or concert in Sorrento.
Pro Tip: Grab your sweetie and a bottle of wine and head to the park for an incredible sunset view!
11. Valloe Dei Mulin
Amazing Sorrento Views
If you are a sucker for a great view like we are, you must head to the Valloe Dei Mulin during your time in Sorrento.
Located a short distance north of Piazza Tasso, the Valloe Dei Mulin is an incredible gorge formed after a volcanic explosion thousands of years ago.
While many people head to Valloe Dei Mulin to hike, it is essential to note that hiking here can be strenuous. If you are up for a challenge, then you might consider hiking here.
If you choose not to hike, then still make your way to the Valloe Dei Mulin (also called the lost valley) to see the remains of an old sawmill on the valley floor.
Today, the old stone sawmill looks like the earth is swallowing up around it. It is covered in vines and sits all alone on the valley floor. Indeed an incredible sight to behold.
The best view can be found from the bridge, which is just a short walk north of town.
12. Centro Storico
If cobblestone streets and narrow alleyways surrounded by medieval structures scream Italy to you, you can’t miss Sorrento’s Centro Storico.
This is the perfect area in Sorrento to grab a cappuccino at a little café as you enjoy living in la dolce vita in Sorrento!
You will also find that the restaurants and cafes in Centro Storico are much more budget-friendly than the ones located near the beach.
13. Sorrento City Walls
Like many other ancient Roman towns, Sorrento was once a fortified city surrounded by walls. The walls were in place to protect the city and its citizens from foreign invasion and have been fortified multiple times throughout history.
Luckily for you, many parts of the city wall still stand for you to see when you visit Sorrento.
A portion of the original Greek wall is located at the Marina Grande gate and below Porta Parsano Nuova. There is a portion of the reconstructed wall from the 1500s at the Porta Parsano bastion.
Be sure and stop by these to see a unique piece of Sorrento’s history.
14. Enjoy Some Limoncello Liqueur
While in Sorrento, you will notice all of the lemon trees around this historic coastal town.
If you are familiar with Italian drinks, you probably already know that these lemon trees produce excellent limoncello. Sorrento is an Italian town known for lemon groves and for producing excellent limoncello.
This delicious Italian liquor is produced by combining lemons and sugar. The product is a deliciously tart but sweet liquor that is enjoyed throughout the world.
When will notice that limoncello is served throughout the city, and oftentimes free samples are given at restaurants after you enjoy their tasty dishes.
15. The Correale di Terranova Museum
The Correale di Terranova Museum is a historic mansion once the summer home of the Correale di Terranova family.
A visit to the museum allows you to enjoy the incredible gardens surrounding the home and will enable you to tour the house’s interior.
The home, which is meticulously preserved, now houses a fabulous collection of art, historic furniture and pottery, and archaeological pieces from Sorrento.
The museum is one of the great things to do in Sorrento to learn more about the area’s history.
16. Visit Pompeii
Choosing to stay in Sorrento allows you access to several fun and easy day trips, like a visit to Pompeii.
Located less than an hour from Sorrento, Pompeii is an incredible city frozen when Mount Vesuvius erupted in the 1st century and buried the city in volcanic ash.
Getting to Pompeii from Sorrento is easy. You can take the Circumvesuviana train and then tour the site on your own or book a day trip for a guided tour.
Take note that Pompeii is a HUGE archaeological site and can be a little overwhelming. If you choose to do a self-guided tour, we highly recommend following the tour available in the Rick Steves Italy book. If you prefer a guided tour, then check out this tour!
16. Tour the Amalfi Coast
The gorgeous Amalfi Coast is one of the top places in Italy to explore and is easily accessed from Sorrento.
Rent a car for the day or take a guided tour to explore this great region of southern Italy.
The candy-colored houses dot the hillside, boasting incredible views of the Bay of Naples.
Explore towns like Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello during a day trip to the Amalfi Coast from Sorrento.
17. Explore The Island Of Capri
Capri is one of my absolute favorite places in the world, and in my opinion, it should be on everyone’s couple’s bucket list!
You can take a day trip to the Island of Capri during your stay in Sorrento by participating in a guided tour or organizing your trip and taking a ferry from Sorrento to Capri.
Capri is an incredible island full of natural beauty, great shopping, and incredible views.
One of the most gorgeous views can be found at the top of Monte Solaro in Anacapri. After arriving at the harbor, take the shuttle bus up to the top of Capri to the town of Anacapri.
From here, you can ride a funicular even further up the mountain. Once you arrive at the top of Monte Solaro, you are greeted with a breathtaking view of Capri’s Faraglioni Rocks and the gorgeous blue Tyrrhenian Sea.
Of course, visiting the Blue Grotto is a must while on Capri. The grotto is a cave just off the island of Capri that you can enter if the sea conditions cooperate.
Once inside the cavern, the cave shimmers and seems to come to life with colors of blue and silver. It is truly a breathtaking experience.
Pro Tip: As the number one tourist attraction on the island, the Blue Grotto can get very crowded. Be sure to book your ticket in advance!
18. Punta Campanella Natural Marine Reserve
Head to the Punta Campanella Natural Marine Reserve if you want to see the Amalfi Peninsula from an entirely different vantage point.
The reserve, located on the Sorrentine Peninsula just west of Sorrento, includes the waters and about 30 kilometers of coastline facing Sorrento, Italy.
A kayaking trip is one of the best ways to experience Punta Campanella Natural Marine Reserve fully. Floating along in a kayak allows you to get a magnificent view of the coastline while having the maneuverability to explore the inlets and caves dotted through the area.
Several small beaches can only be accessed from the water. Find your little private beach to take a refreshing swim or enjoy an afternoon picnic!
19. Get a Taste of Sorrento on a Food Tour
Taking a food tour while visiting a new area is a fantastic way to be introduced to the local cuisine and culture.
We have taken food tours in Dublin, Rome, Savannah, Boston, Dallas, and more! Not only do you get to sample loads of local foods, but you also get introduced to the history and culture of the area you visit.
A Sorrento food tour will allow you to taste local specialties like limoncello liqueur, gelato, olive oils from the local olive groves, cheese, wine, and more.
A food tour is a fun way to learn about the area and make new friends!
20. Take a Boat Tour to Ischia and Procida
If you want to add another fun day trip to your list of things to do in Sorrento, consider taking a day trip to the volcanic islands of Ischia and Procida during your stay in Sorrento.
Ischia, also called the “Green Island” thanks to its abundance of vegetation, is famous for the natural hot springs located on the island. The hot springs can be found at Maronti Beach and make for an incredible and unique experience.
The island of Procida is a fabulous Italian fishing village perfect for a day of exploring. The brightly colored buildings reminded me of Burano and are perfectly picturesque.
The heritage of the fishing village surrounds you as you explore this portion of the Campania countryside. During your time here, stop into one of the many restaurants serving the fresh fish that the fishermen caught!
Of course, both islands offer numerous things to do, so you can easily make a day of exploring them.
Where to Stay in Sorrento
Sorrento is full of fabulous hotels and charming bed and breakfasts, so choosing a place to stay can be overwhelming. We have crafted the recommendations for Sorrento hotels below in hopes of helping you find the perfect place to stay while in Sorrento.
There are hotels in Sorrento to meet every taste. Sorrento hotels have swimming pools, rooftop terraces with incredible views, a buffet breakfast, and more.
So we have you covered whether you are looking for a romantic atmosphere, a budget hotel, or a central location in the historic center of town.
Luxury Hotels in Sorrento, Italy
The Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria is a 5-star luxury hotel boasts panoramic views of the Sorrento coastline. This luxury hotel comprises three historic buildings with a great central location in the historical center of town.
The outdoor pool is surrounded by sun beds and deck chairs, making it the perfect place to spend the day. The hotel also offers easy access to the harbor thanks to a conveniently placed elevator available to guests. This is one of the best hotels in Sorrento for you to consider!
Another luxury hotel option that is a great place to stay in Sorrento is the Grand Hotel Royal which is located on a cliff top in Sorrento.
The Grand Hotel Royal offers guests an outdoor pool with spectacular views of Mount Vesuvius and the Gulf of Naples. Offering private transfers, some of the best restaurants serving up Mediterranean and Italian cuisine, and a fantastic view, you really can’t go wrong with the Grand Hotel Royal when considering luxury hotels in Sorrento.
Mid-Range Hotels in Sorrento
Palazzo Marziale is a boutique hotel in the old town part of Sorrento and is a beautiful place to stay. The hotel is in a 15h-century building and offers a great location close to the beautiful Piazza Tasso.
Guests love the location, the air conditioning, the clean rooms, and the daily pastries available to enjoy with your morning coffee.
Another of the mid-range hotels in Sorrento to consider is the Grand Hotel De La Ville. Guests love the rooftop sun terrace and swimming pool and rate the Grand Hotel De La Ville as one of the best hotels in Sorrento. The hotel’s location close to the train station and the main harbor makes it ideal for those looking to explore the area during their time in Sorrento, Italy.
Located in an 18th-century villa, the Bellevue Syrene is another beautiful hotel you should check out. The fact that every room features terraces overlooking the Bay of Naples is a selling point in our book.
The hotel’s spacious rooms, great restaurants, and lovely pool make this hotel a hit with visitors.
Budget Hotels in Sorrento
The Hotel Plaza Sorrento is a budget hotel in the historical centre of the old town near Piazza Tasso. Please don’t shy away from this hotel because it is a budget hotel with high customer satisfaction ratings!
Customers love the hotel swimming pool, spacious rooms, and the fact that the train station is a short walk away. This is an excellent option for your stay in Sorrento.
The charming Hotel Mignon Meuble might be just what you are looking for during your stay in Sorrento. This well-reviewed hotel offers guests a convenient location and complimentary continental breakfast with their stay. The Hotel Mignon Sorrento, Italy, is located in the old town right by the Sorrento cathedral and the ancient town walls we mentioned above.
You can check prices on the Hotel Mignon Meuble here.
Hotel La Vue D’Or offers guests rooms with panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea (in some rooms), a great outdoor pool with sun loungers, and a free shuttle into town. When you combine that with the on-site restaurant and bar, you have a great place to stay in Sorrento!
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About The Author
Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel. Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region. She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.
Thursday 5th of January 2023
I've been to Sorrento and your images are stunning. This post brought back wonderful memories.
Thursday 5th of January 2023
Thank you so much, Amy! Sorrento is a gorgeous place for sure!
Thursday 5th of January 2023
While all of these things to do sound amazing, sign me up for the food tour! (Especially if there's wine.) ;)
Thursday 5th of January 2023
Haha! I am with you on that one!
Wednesday 4th of January 2023
Such an amazing list of things to do! Definitely adding Sorrento the bucket list of places to visit.
Wednesday 4th of January 2023
You really should. It is such an incredible destination. Thanks for reading!
Wednesday 4th of January 2023
I have the Amalfi coast on my bucketlist. With the beaches and hiking trails I'm sure you know why. The architecture and food is just an added bonus
Wednesday 4th of January 2023
Yes! It is such a fabulous destination. I hope you get to visit soon! Thanks for checking out the article, Kelly.
Monday 2nd of January 2023
Italy has so many hidden gems. I love fortified cities, so I would love to visit Sorrento and admire the historic architecture.
Tuesday 3rd of January 2023
It does! I think that is why I love it so much!!