Sorrento is an incredibly popular tourist destination in Italy, which sometimes leads people to the question ‘Is Sorrento Worth Visiting?’ if they imagine it is going to be very busy and overhyped.
Especially if people are planning a trip around Italy, they might wonder if Sorrento can be skipped or if it is definitely worth visiting.
As a matter of fact, there are so many reasons why the lovely Italian beach town of Sorrento is worth visiting – as well as some things you should know if you want to make the most of your trip, so let’s take a look below!
Where Is Sorrento?
Sorrento is a small coastal town located in the Campania region of southwest Italy, 50km south of Naples.
It is situated in a fabulous location on the Sorrentine Peninsula in the Gulf of Naples at the top of the cliffs, which offers the most stunning views.
Why Sorrento Is Worth Visiting:
Due to Sorrento’s fantastic coastal views, picturesque streets, historic buildings and proximity to Naples, Pompeii, Capri and the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento has long been a tourist favourite holiday destination in Italy.
Sorrento often does get overlooked by these popular nearby destinations, with some bypassing it completely and others visiting briefly on their way to Capri, or hurriedly tagging it onto an Amalfi Coast trip or even just visiting on a day trip from Rome.
But Sorrento is definitely a popular tourist destination in its own right and you should take some time to enjoy this charming town. Sorrento is perfect for couples, family trips as well as for the solo traveller.
Accommodation In Sorrento
Accommodation in Sorrento books out fast, especially in the high season, so make sure to book your accommodation early! Here are some recommendations:
What Is There To Do In Sorrento?
Sorrento is a historic coastal town so there is so much to do here to keep you entertained.
Visit the Cloister of San Francesco, swim in the Bagni Regina Giovanna, visit Marina Grande and explore Piazza Tasso and its many restaurants (the pizza and seafood are delicious in this part of Italy).
Sorrento also has some nice museums: Museo Muta and Museo Correale, which both help to give you an insight into the ancient traditions and culture of the area.
Sorrento Has Fantastic Views
Sorrento is known world-wide for its high cliffs and incredible views of the Bay of Naples, as well as its views of Mount Vesuvius! You can even see out to the island of Capri on a clear day!
There are lots of places along the waterfront in Sorrento – including picturesque cafes, restaurants and hotels, where you can sit on the roof deck or terrace with an aperol spritz and enjoy the views.
The gardens of Villa Comunale is one of the best places on the Amalfi Coast to go to watch the sunset. Or head to the La Marinella restaurant 2km down the road in Sant’Agnello for perfect bay views.
If you enjoy hiking there are many amazing hiking paths around Sorrento (‘Path Of The God’ being the most famous) where you can see breathtakingly stunning views of the surrounding landscape and coast.
For those of you who are water babies and like to enjoy the views from sea level, you can book on a snorkeling or kayaking trip – the water is crystal clear!
And for the adventure seekers: you can enjoy the views whilst parasailing over Sorrento!
Unique Boat Trips
A boat trip is a great way to enjoy Sorrento and the nearby popular destinations such as Capri and the Amalfi Coast.
They often take you to picturesque caves and villages that aren’t very accessible by road, so a boat trip is a really good additional way to see some stunning scenery you may miss otherwise on an Amalfi Coast trip.
Several boat cruises depart daily from Sorrento’s picturesque Marina Grande port, that has a lovely fishing village vibe.
Take a day trip boat ride to discover beautiful Capri and the famous Blue Grotto, or take one across to the Amalfi Coast, which is often regarded as one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world.
Enjoy Local Italian Food & Wine
There are some lovely restaurants at Sorrento’s Marina Grande port. Sorrento is particularly known for its delicious seafood, and the Marina Grande port restaurants are the best place to go for seafood in Sorrento.
Plus, the restaurants here have stunning views over the bay!
Of course, the birthplace of pizza: Naples is very close to Sorrento, so make sure to sample some pizza when you are here!
Sorrento is the birthplace of Limoncello – very popular lemon flavour liquor, typically consumed after dinner, so many people like to buy some and bring it home as a souvenir from Sorrento.
In addition, there are some great wines made in the local area, so wine lovers amongst you may wish to go wine tasting in The Amalfi Coast whilst you are here!
Shopping Along Corso Italia
Corso Italia is Sorrento’s main shopping street. The lively street is a great place to go souvenir shopping, as well as visit some of the main restaurants and cafes here.
Whether you’re looking for boutique and designer items, hand-made ceramics or leather sandals that Sorrento is famous for – or just a bottle of limoncello to take home – you’ll find what you’re looking for on Corso Italia!
Piazza Tasso is the main square in Sorrento, and Corso Italia comes off it. The square was named after Torquato Tasso, the 17th-century poet, and is a busy meeting place.
Here you’ll also find the baroque Church del Carmine, lots of cafes, and this is where the Christmas tree goes every December.
Bathe In Bagni Regina Giovanna
A 10 minute drive or 40 minute walk from Sorrento will take you to Bagni Regina Giovanna: a beautiful natural swimming bath nestled between steep cliffs.
The Regina Giovanna Baths are a must-visit when you are in Sorrento – they are so unique and the water is an incredible shade of blue! The baths are quite famous and are a popular swimming spot so they get very busy in the day.
Get here early if you want to get pictures without other people in. Alternatively you can also get here by boat from Sorrento.
The Regina Giovanna Baths are the scenic ruins of an old Roman villa that was built next to the sea, and you can even get here by boat from Sorrento if you prefer.
Basilica di Sant’Antonino & Church of San Francesco
The Basilica di Sant’Antonino was built in the 11th Century. It is one of the oldest churches in Sorrento and is a must visit when in Sorrento.
In addition, the Church of San Francisco, built as a monastery in the 14th Century is also definitely worth a visit.
Museo Muta & Palazzo Correale
Museo Muta is full of impressive woodcraft and marquetry so it is good to visit and understand the culture more as this is something that Sorrento has a long history with.
Detailed woodcraft was often created by local artisans for Royal Palaces and you’ll see many examples here in this 18th Century palazzo.
Alternatively, head to Museo Correale to admire the family treasures in the old home of the aristocratic Correale family and the beautiful gardens.
Sorrento Is An Ideal Base To Explore Nearby Destinations
Sorrento is the perfect base to explore the other popular travel destinations nearby such as Capri, the Amalfi Coast, Naples, Herculaneum and Pompeii on day trips.
Sorrento is also well connected to Florence and Rome, so you can then go and explore other areas of Italy.
Day Trip To Capri:
The world-famous beautiful island of Capri is very easy to get to from Sorrento by boat. Every 30 minutes a boat departs from Sorrento port to Capri, and the boat ride takes around 35 minutes.
Capri is an incredibly stunning island and is definitely worth a visit, full of magnificent beaches, lovely viewpoints, great restaurants and it is quite lively in the evenings!
Day Trip To Amalfi:
The town of Amalfi is an incredibly popular and beautiful town to visit, full of beautiful hillside villas and spectacular views – it makes a great day trip from Sorrento.
Amalfi town is just over 30km away from Sorrento, but in the car the journey will take around an hour as the roads are very winding roads along the coast for the majority of the way.
Alternatively, a more enjoyable way to reach Amalfi from Sorrento is to take the ferry (55 minutes) as the views from the coast are spectacular!
Day Trip To Naples:
50 km north of Sorrento, it takes around 1 hour to drive to Naples. Naples is an absolute must-visit when you are in the area. It is full of history, incredible architecture, beautiful cobblestone streets, and so much culture and atmosphere!
Plus, as Naples is the birthplace of pizza, you absolutely need to have some pizza when in Naples!
Day Trip To Pompeii:
Just 25 kilometres from Sorrento, around halfway between Naples and Sorrento lies the incredible city of Pompeii.
Pompeii is one of the most significant archaeological sites in the world and is known for when it was buried under a thick layer of ash from the eruption of the nearby volcano Mount Vesuvius in 79AD.
Scientists discovered Pompeii the 1700s, and everyone was amazed to find that the ancient city – monuments, temples, structures and jewellery had been perfectly preserved all that time.
Pompeii is without a doubt a must-see when in this area.
How To Get Around In Sorrento:
Walking is the best way to explore Sorrento. It is a very walkable city and it is very easy to explore all of the main sights on foot.
If you want to explore further afield than Sorrento you can catch a bus or hire a scooter/car. That being said, both driving and parking in the area is challenging!
Things To Bear In Mind When Visiting Sorrento:
Sorrento Can Be Very Busy
Especially during the summer peak season, Sorrento can get extremely busy. If you want to visit without hordes of tourists, you may wish to visit in the off-season months, such as March or October.
Sorrento Is Expensive
Sorrento can be expensive, particularly if you’re traveling by car. Parking can not only be expensive (often around €25 a day), but it is often very challenging trying to find a parking space!
Restaurants can also be expensive in the main area, but if you head off the main streets or visit a neighbouring town you can get meals cheaper.
Is Sorrento Worth Visiting?
Sorrento has something for everyone and is is definitely worth visiting. Sorrento is the perfect place to base yourself if you want to explore nearby destinations such as the Amalfi Coast, Capri and Pompeii on day trips.
Sorrento is full of history, has stunning buildings and delicious food. And whilst Sorrento can be pricey and very busy, it is a wonderful town and the coastal views are just spectacular.
Prices can definitely be cheaper if you visit off-season, plus the crowds will be less, so it is definitely something to consider.
Like this post on Is Sorrento Worth Visiting? Pin it for later!
Catrina is a Travel Writer, SEO Specialist and ex-Flight Attendant based in Sydney, Australia. She has visited 85 countries and lived in several – including Italy, Australia, United Arab Emirates and England. Her work has been featured in a variety of popular travel publications including Fodors, Escape, Australian Traveller and Bear Grylls, as well as several international aviation and travel companies. The majority of her work however features on her own website – 24hourslayover.com where she has written over 500 travel articles!