One day in Amalfi: what to see, do, eat

Amalfi town view from the port with the ancient towers peeking from the top of the mountain behind the town

All you need to know to plan one day in Amalfi: practical tips for visitors, the best things to see, the best restaurants, tips visiting Amalfi town with kids.

Amalfi is the historical town that gives the name to the Amalfi Coast, one of the most beautiful places in Italy and one of the most visited. 

Beautiful and welcoming, Amalfi has pretty streets, stunning sea views, amazing food and hides vestiges of the town’s important past that will quench the thirst of knowledge of the culturally curious tourist and not only!

Amalfi is the type of place you can enjoy if you love sightseeing, sunbathing, boating, shopping, eating and even if you are visiting the Amalfi coast with kids.

It is just that easy to enjoy (despite the crowds, the one downside of the place).   

Despite having so much to offer visitors, Amalfi is small and you can see it in of day or less.

If you are considering a longer stay, I recommend you check out our guide to the best towns on the Amalfi Coast to pick the base that is most suitable for you. 

These are the best things to see in Amalfi.

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Image of Amalfi from the sea with overlay text: must have guide to Amalfi, what to see eat and do in one day

One day in Amalfi: need to know

Amalfi is a small town and visiting in a day will give you plenty of time to see its main attractions.

For comfort and convenience, I highly recommend the following:

Bring good walking shoes/sandals: the town has narrow roads and several steps and shoes with good support will be very handy.

You can find my recommendations for great shoes for Italy travel here. 

Bring a reusable water bottle. Amalfi can get very hot in summer and while bottled water is sold everywhere, you can save money and help reducing waste filling your water bottle it for free at the fountain in front of the duomo.

All locals do it and it is a nice way to also notice the finer fountain details! 

Health and safety: in 2020, waring face coverings is compulsory in all indoor spaces in Amalfi. Hand gel is provided outside the main attractions and most shops and restaurants. Please be advised that restaurants may ask you to fill out a contact form: this is for contact tracing purposes.

If you wish to get a water bottle, have a look at our selection of environmentally friendly travel products here.

Make sure your attire is suitable to enter the duomo

While you are unlikely to get stopped, entering the duomo requires ‘decorous attire’ and some shorts and very revealing tops, for women especially, may be an issue.

The best things to wear on a hot day in Amalfi are breathable summer dresses or linen trousers: they will keep you fresh and you don’t have to worry about entering churches. 

You can have a look at my recommendations about what to pack for Italy in summer here.

The best things to see in Amalfi in a day: Amalfi walking itinerary

Amalfi is a historical town that had a moment of glory in the Middle Ages, when its fleet dominated the trade routes of the Mediterranean.

It was one of the 4 main Italian Maritime Republics (Repubbliche Marinare, the others were Venice, Pisa and Genoa) and one of the most successful for a long time, an element that explains the riches of the city. 

The maritime vocation of the city is still visible in the setup and aesthetic of the town and its architectural structure tells the story of the city’s wealth but also of the wars that came with it.

The places you will see following this itinerary are great to learn about the city and its spirit. 

Top spots to see in Amalfi to understand its history and enjoy the city are below.

Amalfi’s port and arsenal

The port of Amalfi is likely to be the first thing you see about the city and while always very busy with buses and souvenir shops, it is worth your attention. 

Port of Amalfi from the sea

The port would have been the heart of Amalfi as a trade republic and allows you to appreciate how much such a small city has achieved. 

Try and see beyond the tourist buses and the cars and notice the main gate into the old city and also the huge ancient watchtowers above the town: look up and you find one at each side of the port!

To dig deeper into the maritime story of the city, you can also visit the Museo della Bussola and the Arsenal, interesting and not far from the port itself.

After seeing the port, enter the city by the main gate and make your way to piazza duomo

Amalfi’s duomo and the cloister of Paradise

Amalfi has a famous duomo with an even more interesting history.

You first guess its presence from the water, when you spot its distinctive ancient tiled tower and you reach with a short walk from the port.

San Andrea's Fountain Amalfi and Amalfi's duomo in the background

As you walk into the main Duomo square, you will be stunned by a beautiful, ancient-looking church that will make you believe you are in front of a very ancient building.

Fun fact: you are not!

Amalfi’s duomo is not at all as ancient as it may seem but it was actually only made in the 1800s as a clever copy of ancient style!

Mosaic outside the main door of Amalfi's Duomo

Despite this disappointing fact (I had no idea until I visited!), the Duomo is worth a visit and does indeed also has a truly ancient part: the Cloister of Paradise (Chiostro del Paradiso), which you access from right beside the main entrance. 

Baroque interior of Amalfi's Duomo

This is the best thing to see in Amalfi in my option and I highly recommend a stop there. 

Amalfi’s fountain

Right in front of Amalfi’s Duomo, you will find the Fountain of Sant’Andrea, one of the most distinctive and famous landmarks in Amalfi town. 

Detail of San Andrea Fountain, one fo the main landmarks in this one day  Amalfi itinerary

The fountain provides passers-by with drinkable water (you will find many filling their water bottles here) and it is decorated with beautiful and elaborate sculpture.

The fountain dates back to the XVII century and includes a representation of St Andrea and marine creatures, as a homage to the vocation of the city. 

Amalfi’s narrow alleys

Amalfi develops along its main road meandering up the mountains and now dotted with restaurants and shops. 

Stairs climbing up Amalfi town

This is a nice place for a walk however, I recommend you first go exploring the narrow alleys that develop at both sides of the street.

They are a real maze of small streets and they are pretty and atmospheric.

Some are standard roads, while others also develop under porticos and covered passageways and some even climb to the higher portion of the town in the form od stone stairways. 

A walk here is one of the best things to do in Amalfi.

Small gardens and balconies open up in the most unexpected places with their verdant leaves and abundant bursts of colorful flowers and small spaces often turn into incredibly charming restaurants offering quiet atmospheres and amazing local food.

The alleys are a characteristic of Amalfi town.

In times of wealth, the city was often exposed to attacks from the sea (hence the towers too) and the narrow alleyways were intended to confuse the enemy and slow their progress in case they managed to get to shore. 

Indeed, you cannot imagine an easy attach in this incredible maze of a town!

Paper Museum and Rione Vagliendola 

An interesting thing to do I Amalfi and a place that will be for kids too is Amalfi’s paper museum. 

Located a little farther up from the main square and the duomo, the museum is hosted in an incredible ancient mill dating back to the XIII century and showcases ancient machines and techniques for the creation of paper.

The place is unique worth the walk up this part of town, the Rione Vagiendola and Valle delle Ferriere.

Amalfi’s cafes and restaurants

Amalfi is full of cafes and restaurants and sitting down people-watching is one of the most popular pastimes here!

Amalfi Promenade
Amalfi promenade: the white umbrellas are the restaurant we had lunch in

You can choose between a vast array of places and the only recommendation I can give is to check the menu and prices before you commit to a meal.

Due to the popularity of the town with tourists, the prices tend to be a little higher than in other areas of the Amalfi coast however, finding decent deals is still possible. 

We, for instance, had a lovely and not overly expensive meal on the promenade (at Sirena Blu), which had outdoor tables with lovely sea views and lunch options ranging from sandwiches to generous mains. 

Locals gave us additional recommendations for meals and cafes that you will find at the end of this article.

How to get to Amalfi

Amalfi is at the center of the Amalfi Coast and can be reached by road or sea.

By land, you can drive to Amalfi or, better, use the local buses: they connect the city to all other localities on the coast and the main Amalfi coast getaway of Salerno.

They stop at the port, in front of the main city gate and save you the headache of finding parking, a nightmare in Amalfi if going wit your own car.

By sea, you can easily reach Amalfi by ferry. Regular ferries connect the city to localities on the coast big and small: tickets can be bought on the day.

Salerno is about 45 minutes away, children under 10 go at a reduced price.

One day in Amalfi town with kids

Amalfi is one of the most child-friendly towns on the Amalfi Coast, however, if you are planning a day in Amalfi with small children, it is good to know what to expect.

Amalfi town with kids - our daugther sightseeing in Amalfi town
Our daughter in one of Amalfi’s narrow pedestrian streets

The city is flatter than others in the area however, many of its streets have narrow passages and steps that can prove hard with a stroller.

If you can, leave the stroller at home for the day and opt for a baby carrier instead.

If this is not an option, an all-terrain stroller or a very lightweight stroller for travel can be a good idea: the first will be easy to maneuver and offers good cushioning while the latter will be ideal for quick folding whenever needed.

Amalfi is easy for kids to enjoy and they will find several details that will catch their attention.

As well as the above mentioned Museum of Paper, I recommend you seek out the fountain along the main road, with a fun underwater nativity scene, and set your kids lose along the small Amalfi alleyways: away from the main street, many are car-free

Last but not least, Amalfi has a nice playground and of course a beach! 

What to eat in Amalfi  

If you only have one day in Amalfi, you may not be able to taste all this foodie paradise has to offer, however, you can make sure try several of the city’s specialties!

During your day in Amalfi, I recommend you taste:

Scialatielli cozze, vongole e pomodorini – a local type of pasta (scialatielli) served with mussels and clams and fresh cherry tomatoes

Ndunderi – an ancient type of pasta originally from nearby Minori, reminiscent, in shape, of gnocchi

Spaghetti al Limone – lemon spaghetti, using the famous local lemons as a delicate pasta sauce)

Colatura di Alici – anchovies from nearby Cetara

Pezzogna all’acqua pazza – fish with fresh tomatoes, garlic and parsley

Pastarelle Amalfitane – small pastries filled with lemon cream (dessert)

Limoncello – the most famous Italian lemon bases liquor 

Where to eat in Amalfi

The best recommendations about where to eat in Amalfi town come from locals.

These are what we sought out and the best food addresses in Amalfi local sources recommended to us:

Da Gemma: traditional Italian, Via Fra Gerardo Sasso, 11, 84011 Amalfi, SA, Italy

I Cartari: traditional Italian, Piazza dello Spirito Santo, 5, 84011 Amalfi, SA, Italy

Bar Pasticceria leone – perfect for Neapolitan Style espresso, Via Lorenzo D’Amalfi, 47, 84011 Amalfi SA, Italy

Pasticceria Andrea Pansa – award-winning gelato and chocolate, Piazza Duomo, 40, 84011 Amalfi SA, Italy

Pasticceria Savoia – great to taste local sweets and treats, Via Matteo Camera, 2, 84011 Amalfi SA, Italy

I hope you enjoyed this overview and itinerary to see Amalfi in one day. Safe travel planning!

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