Last updated on January 04th, 2023
Located on the northern coast of the Sorrentine Peninsula, Sorrento is a popular tourist destination in Italy that is spread over a plateau overlooking the Bay of Naples. The town was founded by the Greeks in 600BC and grew to become an important trading market in medieval times. One of the fascinating features of the town is its stunning architecture associated with the Greeks and the Etruscans. Visitors can also have fun visiting other attractions like the museums, art galleries and a variety of leisure activities.
Most attractions such as the Capri, Naples (where to stay ?) and Mount Vesuvius (see hotels) are easily accessible from the town, plus you can visit the Roman Ruins at Pompei and Ercolano by train. The town is vibrant with a variety of accommodation places for all budget types. The town is small, meaning you can access or the attractions you need on foot. The hotels are also spread across the town, but you can choose between different neighbourhoods depending on your holiday plans. What are the best places to stay in Sorrento ? Read on below.
Hotels located closer to the shore have better views of Mount Vesuvius and the Bay of Sorrento and beach access, but you can still enjoy the same in some of the lodging blocks in the town centre. Hotels outside the town also offer free shuttle services to the main attractions of the town.
When it comes to the neighbourhoods to visit, the Old Town is the place where you can enjoy the medieval architecture and buy some souvenirs. You can stay at the fishing village of Marina Grande if you want a quieter area or stay up high on the hills of Cepano for the best views of the peninsula. Messa Lubrense is full of luxury, while San Cesareo is the historic street.
What’s the best area to experience the city for the first time, tourists, what’s the best area for swimming and the beach, or where to stay on a budget or for splendid views? Read on below to find out more best neighbourhoods to stay in Sorrento Italy.
What is the Best Area to Stay in Sorrento?
Best for First Time (Sightseeing): City Centre
The best place to stay in Sorrento depends on the traveller’s tastes and preferences. Some of the tourists want the beach life, while others want to be closer to the old parts of the town. There is also a group that wants a quieter neighbourhood further from the city centre. Below are some of the best areas to choose from.
Recommended Places to Stay in Sorrento
- Best Luxury Hotels in Sorrento
Bellevue Syrene • Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria
- Best Great Value – Top Rated Hotels
Maison La Minervetta • Hotel Antiche Mura
- Best Cheap Hotels in Sorrento
Hotel Rivoli • Hotel Nice
- Best Bed & Breakfast
Romantic Relais • Surriento Suites (Beachfront)
- Best Holiday Apartments for Rent
Sorrento Flats • Sorrento Apartments
- Best Budget Hostel
Ostello Le Sirene
What’s the best area to stay in Sorrento for swimming & beach? Seafront Hotel or Hotel with Private Beach
The seafront hotels are the best choice for visitors interested in the beach life and sea activities such as swimming and boating. The area has very few beaches, but most of these hotels have their private beaches accessible through private staircases. Most of the private beaches may not give you the best experience as they are only accessible through wooden platforms — where you have to pay an entry fee. Some other hotels located on a cliff do have a private beach as well. From the Grand Hotel Riviera, you can take the elevator down.
Where to stay in Sorrento for best views? Hotel high on a cliff (Cliff-top) or up the hill
Hotel high on a cliff (Cliff-top) or up the hill is the best choice if you want a wider view of the peninsula. Most of the hotels along the coastal road have balconies and pools that will give you scenic views. You can simply walk to town from your hotel or use a bus.
Where to stay in Sorrento on a budget? Priora Neighbourhood, Meta, SantʼAgata sui Due Golfi or Sant’Agnello
Accommodation prices outside the town are lower compared to the hotels in town. Budget travellers can stay in the neighbourhood of Priora or nearby towns of Meta and Sant’Agata Sui Due Golfi. Priora is a quiet hamlet in the hills of Sorrento 4km to 6km from Sorrento. Other areas out of town like Sant’Agnello are also cheaper, and you can still access the town centre by bus or with a 20-minutes’ walk. Another benefit of the outskirt areas like Priora is that they are less crowded compared to the town areas.
The 6 Best Neighbourhoods in Sorrento Italy for Tourists (Holiday)
1. City Centre
The city centre is full of energy and people throughout the day. First-timers can choose this area because it is safe and well connected to other towns and cities of Italy. You can enjoy an afternoon walk through the pedestrian-only streets in the centre or enjoy lunch at the restaurants and cafes that are lined along the streets.
The Harbour area is the best choice if you are looking for a luxury hotel, but those considering the nightlife should choose the Corso Italia area. The area is full of traditional bars and clubs that operate throughout the night. Attraction areas in the town centre include the Church of San Francisco, which has a beautiful design and fabulous gardens. The church also holds regular art exhibitions and classical concerts.
You can also visit the medieval streets of Via Pieta for which is home to the town’s historic cathedral that was built in the 15th century. The church has a unique architecture and other features like a majolica clock, a marble bishop’s throne and a triple-tiered bell tower. The Museo Correale located at the city centre, holds a rich collection of archaeological findings from the area. There are also Greek and Roman Artefacts and other collections from all over the world. It’s one of the best places to stay in Sorrento for a first time visit.
- Best Places to Stay (Luxury): Grand Hotel Royal (Beachfront – Private Beach) • Grand Hotel La Favorita
- Best Cheap / Affordable Hotels: Hotel Mignon Meublè • Hotel Tasso Suites & Spa
This area is a good pick for visitors who want a quieter neighbourhood. You can use a train or bus to connect to the city centre and the other regions of interest like Pompeii and Naples. The area is less crowded than central Sorrento, and has a variety of hotels with the best views of the sea. These hotels are cheaper and have more facilities than what you can get in the city centre like access to the beach using escalators. Piazza Sant’ Agnello is the best area for dining as it is full of restaurants that serve a variety of Italian and European dishes.
The main feature in Sant’Agnello is the capuchin Church and the Monastery. This facility on top of the cliff was built in 1586 and stills stand firmly above the sea down below. There are also parks and gardens where you can have a picnic and experience some of local plants and flowers.
- Best Places to Stay (Luxury): Grand Hotel Cocumella (Beachfront – Private Beach) • Hotel Villa Garden (Pool & Beach)
- Best Cheap / Affordable Hotels: Unconventional Sorrento Coast • Hotel Angelina
This neighbourhood is located in the hills on the southwest side of Sorrento. The cost of accommodation here is lower compared to staying in town because the town is a distance away from the town centre.
The fact that the area is calm and quiet due to fewer crowds makes it a good pick for visitors who want a quiet resting place after the busy touring activities.
Daytime activities at Priora include visiting the cathedral at the bottom of the hill and watching the fishermen as they bring in their catch at the Marina Grande in the evening. The Almafi Coast is also easily accessible from this neighbourhood as you only need to follow the highway out of town. The drive is unique for its picturesque views, plus it tops in the world’s list of the most picturesque scenic drives. Other easily accessible areas from Priora include Positano and Praiano.
- Best Places to Stay (Great Value): Villa Eliana • Grand Hotel President (with Pool)
- Best Cheap / Affordable Hotels: Hotel Villa Fiorita • Hotel Il Nido Sorrento
4. Meta (town nearby)
The town of Meta is an excellent choice for budget visitors and those who want a quieter place. The area has different hotel types to choose from and several fun activities. One unique feature is the triangular beach that is very popular during summer, given that the region has very few beaches. The beach is full of activities such as swimming and boating during summer and tasting of local seafood in the restaurants near the beach.
Apart from the beach, the town also has a historical centre. The centre maintains its medieval architecture for both the streets and the buildings. The centre has a quiet and calm atmosphere with ancient doorways that have defied time.
When it comes to food, Meta is well known for desserts such as “Delizia al linone” and babba al limoncello. The town is also a source of delicious wines like Grafnamo, Sorrento and Lettere and fresh cheese from the local dairy farms. Plenty of cheap places to stay are located here for the budget traveller.
- Best Accommodation: Laqua Charme & Boutique • Casa Nannina (Guest House)
- Best Cheap Places to Stay: Hotel Giosue’ a mare (Beachfront – Private Beach) • Il Giardino dei Gigli (Apartment)
5. Piano di Sorrento (town nearby)
Piano di Sorrento is a beautiful neighbourhood, which is home to the areas as handicraft and silk garments making activities. Visitors can purchase the handmade items in the local open-air market that happens along the main street on weekends. From Piano di Sorrento, you can easily access the city centre and other parts of the larger district using the easily accessible means of public transport like busses and trains. You don’t have to worry about the time because the buses and trains are available throughout the day. The public transport will also be available for most of the night hours. Visitors can enjoy Italian meals from the wide selection of restaurants and hotels and enjoy shopping for clothes and souvenirs from the local shops along the main strip.
Visitors staying in this neighbourhood can visit the nearby park, which is home to the Villa Fondi and different Mediterranean plants and flowers. Another unique feature is the Basilica of St Michele Arcangelo. The basilica attracts a lot of tourists due to its paintings that date back to the 15th and 16th centuries.
- Best Places to Stay (Great Value): Nastro Azzurro & Occhio Marino Resort (with Pool) • Villa Iolanda (Guest House)
- Best Cheap / Affordable Accommodation: Hotel Soleluna • L’Angolo di Campagna (Bed and Breakfast)
6. Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi
Sant’Agata Sui Due Golfi is a small village in the hills above the town of Sorrento. The town is a popular destination as it has a healthy climate, friendly residents and beautiful landscapes. You can reach the town by car or bus from Sorrento via the Natsto azzuro road or on foot in about half an hour. Staying in this town will allow you to have the best view of the archipelago of Li Galli and the legendary Island of Capri. You can also visit the Monastero del Deserto, which was constructed by Carmelite monks in 1679. The location of the monastery provides a perfect view of the Bays of Salerno and Naples.
A unique thing about the people of Sant’Agata Sui Due Golfi is their passion for food. The area is a source of various locally produced ingredients like tomato, lemon and the Lattari cheese. You can visit the local firms and purchase some of the local spices and animal products as souvenirs. The village is also close to the fishing village of Nerano. The town is well known for its beautiful beaches and lidos that are open to the public and the delicious fresh fish dishes in the local eateries.
- Best Places to Stay (Luxury): Oasi Olimpia Relais • B&B Villa Annabelle (Bed and Breakfast)
- Best Cheap / Affordable Hotels: Villa Romita • Maison Fernanda (Guest House)
Best Places to Stay in Sorrento
Best Luxury Hotel in Sorrento: Bellevue Syrene
This Hotel overlooking the Bay of Sorrento is a perfect pick for a Luxurious experience during your stay in Sorrento.The property was formerly a private home, and the owners have tried to retain the original frescoes on the walls for the laid-back theme that blends with modernity and sophistication. The hotel’s proximity to the sea near the docks gives the visitors an easy access to the Bagni Sant’ Anna and Leonelli’s beach.
This luxurious hotel offers five-star services and amenities like Pool, in-house restaurant, spa and room service. Additional features include free snacks and beverages for guests throughout the day and terrace seating accompanied with live piano music at summertime. It’s one of the best places to stay in Sorrento for luxury, honeymoon and couples.
Best Mid Range Hotel in Sorrento: Maison La Minervetta
This top Mid-Range hotel is situated at the top of the cliffs above the Mediterranean. The hotel boasts of nautically-themed rooms and huge floor-to-ceiling windows to promote a full view of the sea and the surrounding villages. The rooms have a flat TV, minibar and air conditioning to ensure the comfort of visitors. The hotel has a private beach with free sun umbrellas and deck chairs and a private staircase that leads to the Marina Grande.
Visitors who cant climb the staircase leading down to the sea can have their swimming fun at the huge outdoor pool with a beautiful view of the sea below. The rooftop terrace and the concierge are a perfect place to view of Sorrento and areas beyond. Additional features include free parking and breakfast, plus the hotel is close to several restaurants where you can have your other meals.
Best Cheap Hostel in Sorrento: Ostello Le Sirene
This hostel is at a perfect location close to Sorrento Train Station and within a 5-minutes’ walk distance from Piazza Tasso. Visitors can choose between private rooms with en suite bathroom or dormitories with single beds and a shared bathroom. A breakfast consisting of one pastry and a single drink per person is offered daily. The drinks are either juice or coffee, but customers can have a wider variety at discounted prices at a nearby restaurant.
Touring the neighbouring towns from the hostel is easier as buses stop just outside the hotel throughout the day and a bigger portion of the night. The nearest beaches are 600metres from the property, meaning you can walk to the beach in less than 15 minutes. Visitors who wish to visit famous attractions such as the Almafi Coast, Pompei and Naples can book on-site.
Stay in Naples or Sorrento?
People touring Italy for the first time are often confused between Naples and Sorrento. The truth is that both can connect you swiftly to Ischia, Pompeii and Capri. While one is a resort town that is filled with English speakers, the other is a large city. Naples tends to be a little cheaper and offers more accommodation than Sorrento.
Sorrento, which is a solid seaside town, on the other hand, is the best tourist area without too much noise and traffic. It also happens to have few places to visit and one church while Naples has many of them. Naples boasts massive counts of museums, culture and art galleries. Sorrento, however, has a beautiful seaside but is a little more expensive.
In Sorrento, the centre of the town’s life is in Piazza Tasso. Most of the streets are lined with shops, restaurants and luxury hotels that overlook the harbour. Here, shopping is open until 9PM where you get to shop without the anxiety of going out after dark like is the case in Naples. For the average tourist, Sorrento is more laid back and comfortable than Naples.
Stay in Sorrento or Capri?
Writers and painters looking for solitude, musicians chasing inspiration and people hoping that life in an island would grant them peace have all stayed in the southern Mediterranean. At a time when almost everyone has managed to visit many parts of the world, Capri has, over the years, maintained its air of magic and allure.
Just eight miles away from this island is Sorrento, a town reckoned for an almost similar reputation. Over the years, it also has been a refuge to people looking for solace and inspiration. If you have been to Capri and consider it magical, Sorrento is undoubtedly romantic. One of the differences that would tell the seaside town and the rocky island apart is the nature of romance and magic.
When it comes to choosing the perfect place to stay, it will all depend on what you intend to do in Italy. If you are looking for a relaxed holiday, Capri should be your ultimate destination. It offers opportunities to ferry to Positano or Amalfi to peek at the Amalfi coast, and also ferries to Naples. However, if you are looking to take constant day trips from night paseo, explore great restaurants to enjoying the views, there is no point in staying in Capri.
Sorrento allows you to stay put, and also opens lots of day trip opportunities and cheaper prices. In terms of views, Capri offers you multiple choices, all breath-taking, allowing you to feel a sense of mystery. In summer, however, it can get very crowded. Sorrento is Capri’s complete opposite, lovely to stroll through in all seasons. It has pretty deep cloisters, beautiful orange and lemon groves and elegant gardens by the sea. In Europe, it is one of the most popular wedding venues, which is proof of its romantic appeal.
Stay in Positano or Sorrento?
When it comes to choosing a place to stay between Positano and Sorrento, it all comes down to personal preference and your intentions within the area. Serene Sorrento is perfectly wedged on a ledge over the sea, creating the best springboard for sightseeing along the Amalfi coast. It may not have world-class sights but it offers tourists unmatched experiences in shopping and culinary options, as well as a spectacular cliffside setting.
Its back street gives it a peek at the culture and history, stretching to Greek times. In Positano, the views tend to be a little more dramatic. The town will also strike you with its ambience, relaxed, quaint and picturesque nature. If you are looking for an area that exposes you to beach life even without too many hotels, shops and restaurants, choose Positano.
However, if an area without a beach but has enough seawater to swim in while enjoying the sight of many hotels and shopping areas excites you, Sorrento should be your selection. The deal-breaker will be the means of transport. While Sorrento boasts easy access to transport should you wish to visit Pompeii and other areas, Positano does not. It means that if you do not have a personal means of transport, you will be safer in the seaside town.
Italy is, no doubt, an excellent destination for people looking to experience a mix of delicious and healthy foods, the beauty of the English language, spectacular hotels and the relaxing feel of the sea and beaches. When it comes to choosing one among the three towns, it might be easier to say; take an adventure and experience them all.
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