When we visited the Amalfi coast, we stayed in Salerno.
I am so happy with that choice.
Salerno has a new high speed train station, so it is easy to get there from Rome in 2 hours.
Staying in the historic center of the city at the cusp of summer was intoxicating.
Everyone was out in the squares at night, beers in hand. During the day, the promenade was packed with joggers and ambling couples.
The promise of long days and warm nights was tantalizing.
This is coming from a girl who did not have high hopes for Salerno.
It was merely a jumping off point to explore the Amalfi coast.
In that sense? It was also perfect.
The best thing about staying in Salerno when visiting the Amalfi coast is the ferry.
Forget having to sit in traffic on cliffside streets. You can be on the water.
From Salerno, you can get to Amalfi for €8 on the Tra Vel Mar ferry in just 35 minutes. You can search for fares and book in advance here.
The ferry is basically a cruise of the coastline.
If you would prefer to go to visit Positano, tickets from Salerno are a whopping €12. Once you have docked in Amalfi and admired the town from the boat, you continue on.
From the sea, the towns are even more enchanting.
What you give up in terms of an exhilarating drive (or terrifying bus ride), you more than gain from your watery vantage.
Each curve of the coast brings a new village, or stone outpost, and tiled church steeple.
Whitewashed building and brilliant bougainvillea dot the terraced hillsides.
And the approach is unbeatable.
We left Salerno at 9:40 am from the marina at Piazza della Concordia – a few minutes on foot from the train station. Just walk past the security booth and head for the end of the marina, where you will find the ticket booth.
Returning from Positano at 6:30 pm meant that the 70-minute ferry ride slowly faded into the sunset.
For the ferry schedule from Salerno to Amalfi and Positano check here.
Taking the ferry is a fantastic experience, but also saves the trouble of finding (and paying) for parking. We can’t wait to go back.
Note: This post may include affiliate links for which I can earn a commission if you choose to book. You are under no obligation to do so.
44 thoughts on “Taking the Ferry from Salerno to Amalfi and Positano”
Best car-free day we have had in a long time!
Beautiful pics Natalie – I took the bus — there were a few moments I wanted to ask the driver to ‘please put both hands on the wheel and stop talking on your mobile phone while gesturing with your free hand’ 😉
Amazing! There is nothing quite like Italian driving down cliffside roads to make you feel alive again.
Done that this week from Salerno to Sorrento and back again. It demands very active driving and I’m happy not getting a bigger rental car than FIAT 500X ?
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Salerno has a beautiful historical center with hidden beauties. Unfortunately the major doesn’t seem to realize that these beauties should be kept well and that we should give them value. Nevertheless, as a tourist you can still enjoy its treasures, and yes, it’s the best solution for visiting the Amalfi Coast. If you people ever decide to go there, if Natalie allows me to say that, you can contact me if you stay in Salerno and I will be more than happy to give you suggestion and directions. Natalie, questo vale anche per te! 🙂
Grande! Grazie, Francesca!
I will be in Salerno in May but still thinking where we should go. I prefer something easy like city tour in Salerno….. etc. We have to go back to the cruise in time and not date to go too far and complicate on our own. Any suggestions for 4 to 5 hours? Thanks!
I appreciate this site. We plan to stay 3 nights in mid may and would really appreciTe accommodation suggestions. We plan to do a day trip to Capri and a day trip to Amalfi coast. Have to catch a very early train to Florence on Monday the 15th and while staying close to train ideal we would rather stay closer to town and marina and get car to take us to train on Monday.
Hi Vonni! We have stayed in an airbnb both times in the historic center. The center is about a 15 minute walk from the train station.
I am also Francesca (Frances), age 80, and will be staying 4 nights in Salerno in September 2018. My daughter Michelle will be with me. At this time our plans are for staying at the Plaza Hotel which seemed to be close to the train station for our travel there from Naples. I like Natalie’s suggestion for the ferry to Amalfi and Positano. Any suggestions you can give for our visit will be welcomed. Thank you.
We want to visit the town in June and wonder if it’s very crowded?
It will be! But less so than July.
Hi Francesca (and Natalie)
Me, my wife and my youngest son (19) stays right now in Salerno Centro Storico.We came Friday 29 june and leaves 9 july. We usually book historical centers because of the great atmosphere.
We drive rental car and yes it is really nasty traffic with a lot of queuing, but it’s possible. We have visit Paestum/Garibaldi, Amalfi/Positano, Sorrento and Pompei. Tomorrow Thursday we go for Naples. Except the boat ride to Amalfi/etc. have you got any suggestions for saturday/sunday? Is it possible to go by boat to Ischias? We know there is one to Capri, but I left my gold watch, suit and expensive leather shoes at home ?
hi Francesca hope your doing well.. I will be in salerno next week for a solo trip it would be nice if you can drop me advices on how to move between salerno/positano/amalfi this is my email I wiuld be happy to receive a mail from you 🙂 [email protected]
Francesca, I would love Salerno recs!
We are thinking of staying In Salerno for a few days this upcoming July summer 2019. Any recommendations where we should stay. ?!
Ciao Ash! Yes! I have my favorite hotels/apartments/B&Bs listed at the end of this Salerno Travel Guide. It is a great city and it just depends on how close you want to be to the port.
Hello Francesca, I am writing to you because I will be going in June with my 15 years old daughter and her cousin the same age. We will be staying in Salerno, but I am looking for a Ferry that takes me to Positano before 9 am, to get a tour from there to Capri tour with another company, do you know anyone and how much, but I have a car service that they are charging me 120 euros to drop me off at Positano and pick me up later after the Capri boat tour. What would you do? Should I take a bus from Salerno to Positano but what is the latest they pick up to bring me back to Salerno, I do not want to be left in Positano alone with the two girls in the dark. Please help.
Natalie, I love your article, big help.
Would it be ok just touring in Salerno? Our cruise will arrive in Salerno in the morning. We don’t want to have a long way traffic. Amalfi is nice, but need to have an hour driving to reach there. Can you give me any advice?
My son and his girlfriend will be studying in Rome this summer. They will be visiting Positano for a week-end in June. Can you recommend a place to stay in Salerno that is close to the ferry dock? Also, which ferry company do you recommend? Do the ferries run daily? Also, do you have any other suggestions for college students will in Rome?
Thanks so much!
Need details please.
Where do you buy ferry tickets at Amalfi to Salerno?
Where on the ferry landing does the Tra Vel Mar ferry tie up?
How far is the Salerno train station from the ferry landing? Walk in minutes?
Thank You so much. 2 seniors traveling need to make these connections.
Hello – it is about 600m or a 7 minute walk. The tickets are for sale on the dock, and the ferry is the only one so it is hard to miss – just walk towards the back.
We are planning a trip to Positano, looking for a hotel or villa in the center of town right on the beach front.
The pictures are beautiful! Would be docking in Salerno for our cruise trip and would appreciate any suggestions on how to visit Amalfi, Positano, and Sorrento in a day if possible.
Hi Jem! Here’s a Salerno Travel Guide, and a tip for where to get lunch in Amalfi.
Your post was so useful. My cousin and I are going in August and we didn’t know if to stay in Salerno (cheaper, and better transportation) or stay in Almafi(more expensive, but we thought quiet central). Would you still say Salerno is better? How safe is it to come back to Salerno in the evening? Is it a safe place? Did you visit sorrento, if so was it easy to get there?
Sorry to ask you all these questions!
Hi Katherine! Salerno is safe but lively. I prefer staying there because there was more to do at a more reasonable price. I have visited Sorrento from Naples, but not leaving from Salerno.
Advice please. We will be stopping in Salerno on a cruise but also returing and staying in Postino for three nights just a frw days later. Should we just stay put and enjoy Salerno for the day? Would we regret it? When we return to Postino we plan on a day trip to Amalfi and Ravello via bus. Thank younin advance.
I think if you are short on time you would be better staying in Positano 🙂
This is very helpful information. We’re doing 5 days in August and I’m toying with an Airbnb sailboat for the 5 nights. I’m thinking it’s a way to beat crowds and traffic. He will take us to any of the towns we wish. After reading your article, I am even further from identifying any cons to doing this. Thank you.
Sounds like a lovely way to stay and to explore!
Hi- thanks so much for the information! I’m staying in Salerno and would love to take the ferry to the other towns… Question- do you have to buy a ferry ticket for each stop or can I get on in Salerno, off at the first stop, back on again till the next stop and so on? (similar to the Cinque Terre)? Thanks!
Wife and I are staying in Positano. If we train from Rome to Salerno, an we carry our luggage on the ferry to Positano? Do we need to buy ferry tickets in advance or is it easy on day of in case we are delayed?
Is it possible to do Amalfi and Positano from Salerno via ferry on the same day?
Hi there! Traveling to naples, salerno and amalfi in May. I’d appreciate some tips to get around esp since it will be a short 4-day trip. Thanks!
Hello Question for you Natalie
I will be going in June with two teenagers, looking for the good and cheap, I have a booking with Viator a tour boat to Capri but I am having an issue with getting to Positano the point of departure at 930 am, and my problem is the first ferry arrived at Positano at 950am and my tour leaves at 930 am, do you know any reliable transportation to pick us up at Salerno city and take us back to Salerno city later around 6 pm? Should I take the bus in Positano to Salerno that late at night? what do you think, please help, I am going crazy here?
Di Sarno Car Service is charging me 200 euros for taking us and bringing us back.
Please help. Thank you
These are great pictures. I am having difficulty finding out where the cruise ship will dock on May 10th and the distance to the ferry dock.from the ship. Do you know?
I’m hoping to go to Amalfi then catch the bus to Ravello for the day.
Thank you so much
Can you tell me the name of the fast train you mentioned that goes from Rome to Salerno. Also, on the TravelMar site there are two Salerno’s listed… Which one does the train stop at that you would be leaving from the going back to? Thank you!!
The Salerno train station is Salerno Centrale and both trenitalia and italo have trains there. For the ports, Salerno Concordia has more ferries and is much closer to the station
Just visited there following your suggestion, it made a wonderful day trip from Rome. Thank you very much!
We are planning a trip in the middle of September. Is it better to stay in Salerno or Sorrento for our 10 day holiday. We want to explore the area but equally be able to relax on a beach. In the evening we like a lively atmosphere but not nightclubs ( we’re in our 50s!). Any suggestions would be great. Philippa
I would say, Sorrento! There is more of a holiday (but not a clubby) feel there. If you want more local, Salerno. But Sorrento feels more like the Amalfi Coast.