Capri is one of those places you hear about a lot and for some reason, I had never imagined that one day I’d eventually make it over. Although it is completely overrun with tourists, being in Capri was a fairly surreal feeling it is a truly stunning place to visit. See above. Boom. I have since been back a third time and had the opportunity to explore more of the island – it was just as spectacular as I had remembered!
Planning a trip to Italy? Click here for 14 things you should know before you go to Italy!
Wondering what to do in Capri and what the best way to get there is? Read on for practical information I wish I had when I was planning our first trip to Capri.
How to get to Capri
The easiest way to get to Capri is via either Naples, Sorrento or Positano. Though it is technically possible to do a day trip to Capri from Rome, it involves about 10 hours of travel in one day, so I wouldn’t recommend this option. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
Option 1 – Public ferry: You can get to Capri fairly easily via public transportation from Naples or Sorrento, and there are also ferries from Positano, Salerno and Ischia during the summer months (more details and ferry schedules here). You will want to book your tickets in advance if you are visiting in the summer months from June to August, as the ferries do fill up quickly.
We did a day trip to Capri from Sorrento by hopping on a 25 minute hydrofoil ferry ride from Sorrento’s Marina Grande and bought our return ticket at the same time (you can hop on an earlier ferry than the ferry you are scheduled to return on).
For those planning to take a boat from Sorrento to Capri expect to pay approximately 40 Euros per person for a return ticket. The ferry journey takes about half an hour from Positano to Capri, and 50 minutes from Naples to Capri.
Option 2 – Self-drive private boat to Capri from Sorrento: Feeling adventurous? If you are staying in Sorrento, you can rent a small rigid inflatable from Sorrento Boat and plan your own boat trip to Capri – each boat fits up to 6 people and we paid approximately 200 Euros for a full day and organized our own food and wine.
You don’t need a nautical license for the smaller boats and it takes approximately 30-40 minutes to get to Capri (don’t worry, you don’t need to be an expert navigator as it’s a straight shot from Sorrento to Capri).
The benefit of doing it this way is that you can visit the blue, white and green grottoes and Faraglioni rock formation with more flexibility, it’s also more cost effective if there are a few of you splitting the costs. The boat company also provides snorkeling gear so you can jump off the boat anywhere you want and go for a swim. You can also dock the boat in the main marina as well as other locations around Capri for an extra fee, and have the option of swinging around to Positano if you’re feeling extra keen/it isn’t too windy.
Once you bring the boat back into Sorrento’s main marina, a staff member will meet you out at the boat and drive you back to fill up the tank and park the boat. You will be responsible for paying for however much gas you used during the day – to give you an idea, we picked up the boat at 9 AM, drove to Capri, explored around the island and sailed back to Sorrento by 6 PM and paid just 30 Euros for fuel.
Option 3 – Guided/skipper-driven private tours to Capri: Many, many many companies operate private boat trips to Capri from Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast and Naples. But these can be quite costly, we received one quote for 700 Euros for a full-day boat tour from Sorrento Capri.
How to get around Capri
There are two main towns on the island of Capri – Anacapri and the town of Capri – you can check out this map of the island to plan your route and Capri itinerary.
There are a multitude of transportation options once you’re on Capri – taxis (open-top convertible Mercedes-Benz!), mini buses, scooter rental or you can try to walk around by foot.
Taxi: These are no ordinary taxis. Taxis in Capri cost an arm and a leg, and unless you are in a rush, are traveling in a group of 4-6 people or have heavy luggage, I would advise against taking them. Hourly rates start at approximately 80 Euros and there are fixed rates for different routes across the island. You can check the standard Capri taxi rates here.
Funicular: The best way to get from Marina Grande to Capri town is to take the funicular, which will zoom you up and down in just a few minutes. The funicular departs every 15 minutes so you won’t have to wait too long.
The ticket will cost 2 Euros and the ticket office is across the street from the Marina Grande funicular entrance. The signage is pretty non-existent so here’s a photo of what it looks like.
Bus: The local buses on Capri island are tiny, but they do the job of getting you from point A to B. The bus schedules are posted at every bus station, just make sure you buy your ticket ahead of time – it will cost 2 Euros one way or 2.5 Euros if you buy it onboard. The buses tend to get VERY crowded (translation: smelly) and the lines can go on…and on…and on, especially in the peak season. More on getting around Capri here.
Scooter: For our first trip, We ended up renting a scooter for 5 hours for 50 Euros and found this gave us the most flexibility to explore the island, although you aren’t allowed to drive into the town of Capri (east side of the island of Capri). Next to taking a ferry back from Sorrento to Naples instead of the Circumvesuviana train, this was one of the best ideas during the trip – you could walk, I suppose, but the island is fairly hilly in spots and some roads don’t have sidewalks.
Where to stay if you’re visiting Capri
If you are thinking about visiting Capri then I would recommend that you stay in Sorrento. Planning a day trip to Capri from Sorrento is easy as there are tons of ferries every day, and it also opens up options for you to visit not just Capri, but also the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii and Vesuvius, Ischia and Procida. For more Italy hotel booking tips and recommendations click here.
For our first trip to Sorrento in 2015, we stayed at Vhome, a lovely B&B located in a residential building down a side street in a relatively low-key area of Sorrento.
It is a quick ten minute walk from the heart of the city, and the people who run it are amazing and packed us cake for our day trip to Capri, in case the two salami-stuffed croissants I had for breakfast wasn’t enough. Click here to book your stay at Vhome!
Another fantastic option is B&B Veru, right on Corso Italia (the main street running through Sorrento – the location can’t be beat). Cristiana is a wonderful host and the boutique rooms are spacious, clean and modern. Although it is on the main street, street noise is non-existent. Click here to book your stay at B&B Veru!
If you are visiting Capri for a day trip from Naples (instead of Sorrento), I would highly recommend staying at Parthenope Suite in the Historic Centre of Naples. The beautiful boutique B&B is located in the heart of the city and the rooms are newly renovated.
Silvia and Alessandro are wonderful hosts who made our trip as easy and enjoyable as possible. From sending us meticulous directions for getting to/into the property to helping contact the airport for updates on our lost baggage, these two were patient and went out of their way to be helpful. Don’t get me started on the delicious nutella-stuffed croissants that they served for breakfast! Click here to book your stay at Parthenope Suite!
Planning your perfect trip to Italy? Click here for even more Italy hotel booking tips and recommendations!
Top things to see in Capri
For such a small island, there’s plenty to see and do, and in my opinion 1 day in Capri is plenty as it’s easy to cover a lot of ground relatively painlessly. Read on for some of the best places to visit on Capri island!
1. See the famous Blue Grotto
Seeing the famous Blue Grotto on the northwest side of the island is on most Capri itineraries. Apparently, it’s best to visit the grotto, or “Grotta Azzurra”, between about 11 am and 2 pm, when the sun is the strongest and therefore the glow of the grotto is most intense during this time frame. The line wasn’t outrageously long and we managed to get into a dinghy with another couple in about 20 minutes.
The skipper rowed us over to the ticket booth and then we got in line behind a few more rowboats to get into the grotto itself. You have to lie all the way down to enter the grotto as the mouth of the cave is very small, but once you get inside – wow. You only spend a few minutes inside but the experience is 100% worth it.
2. Admire the Faraglioni sea stacks
Check out the Marina Piccola for a view of the Faraglioni sea stacks off the southern tip of the island. Legend is that Ulysses encountered sirens singing their deadly songs in the bay of Marina Piccola. If you have rented your own boat then you can actually drive through the sea stacks – it’s an incredible experience!
Many people also visit Giardino di Augusto or Via Krupp for views of the sea stacks. But in my opinion the best viewpoint of the Faraglioni sea stacks is at Belevedere of Punta Cannone, a quick 10-minute walk away from Capri town.
3. Check out Punta Carena/Faro
On the southwest side of the island is Punta Carena / Faro with the statuesque lighthouse and a free “beach” (again, where is the sand?). People come here to lay out towels on concrete rock and bake in the sun, but the water is crystal clear and jumping in was the perfect way to cool off on a hot day.
Make sure you keep an eye on your personal belongings when you’re in the water as it was fairly crowded.
4. Take a dip in the Green Grotto
Take a dip in the Green Grotto. This little sea cave, or “Grotto Verde”, along the south coast can only be accessed by boat, is far less crowded than the blue grotto and has no entry fee. The white sand reflects the sunlight and all you see is glistening, emerald-coloured water. Grab your snorkeling gear and swim through the cave to the other side – the water is crystal clear!
5. Walk up to the White Grotto
Walk up to the White Grotto. You’re probably thinking, another grotto? The answer is yes, this time along the east coast of Capri. This massive cave is filled with stalactites that hang from the roof, and there is a set of stairs that lead you into the lower cave – watch your step as it is slippery!
6. Visit one of the best viewpoints in Capri
The Scala Fenicia, or Phoenician Steps, are located just past Villa San Michele in Anacapri. These 900-or so steps were used to carry supplies from the main marina up to the town of Anacapri, and today offers sweeping views of the island from above. Don’t worry, you don’t have to walk up (or down) the steps for this view of Capri, just walk a minute or so past Villa San Michele to where the steps begin for this viewpoint. Make sure this stop is on your Capri itinerary!
Hotel recommendations: Vhome, a cozy and comfortable B&B located ten minutes away from the historic center of the city. Click here to check current rates at Vhome!
B&B Veru is right on Corso Italia (the main street running through Sorrento) with spacious, clean and modern rooms. Click here to check current rates at B&B Veru!
For more Sorrento accommodation options, click here to check current prices and availability.
Planning a day trip to Capri from Naples? Stay at Parthenope Suite in the Historic Centre of Naples. The beautiful boutique B&B is located in the heart of the city and the rooms are newly renovated. Click here to book your stay at Parthenope Suite!
Capri is beautiful and a great place for a day trip – you can get to Capri via public transportation from a number of places: Sorrento, Naples, Positano or Amalfi, but double check the ferry schedules as some routes only run during the summer months and ferry schedules change every so often.
Planning to visit Capri? The best time of year to visit Capri is in April to early June, or mid-September and October after the crushing summer months. The crowds thin out somewhat during the shoulder seasons, though you can expect the weather to be slightly more temperamental and even chilly. If you are visiting Capri during the peak season, Italian summers are hot, so bring sunscreen. If you’re visiting Capri for a day trip, pack your swimwear and a towel so you can take a dip in the ocean to cool off.
Looking for other day trip ideas in this region? Click here for my guide to the Amalfi Coast!
Have you been to Capri? What did you think?
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Video music credit: Geographer – Ferris Wheel / Youtube Free Music