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Getting from Naples to Sorrento

We're flying into Naples, and staying in Sorrento. Is train the best option for getting back and forth between the two?

I assume once in Sorrento we'll be moving around by bus or cab (or on foot), and that the tours we're doing will have transportation.

Thanks for any helpful info.

Posted by
6303 posts

On our stay 10 years ago, we arrived in Sorrento from the south by rental car, and we used it sometimes for trips near Naples, like to Pompeii and Herculaneum. But for between Naples and Sorrento themselves, the Circumvesuviana train was the best option, which we used.

Within Sorrento, we mostly walked.

Posted by
3574 posts

There is also a direct bus from the airport--I would dig up the schedule and see if it aligns with your arrival time. Otherwise, you have to go to the train station.
You will likely make use of the Circumvesuviana and ferries during your stay.

Posted by
968 posts

I like starting my vacation before I reach my destination. That means taking the ferry from Naples to Sorrento. The views, the fresh air, the gentle rocking of the boat are just what I need! I always stay at the same hotel (il Nido) which is above the city. They have a very frequent shuttle to/from the center of Sorrento which saves the horrendously high taxi fares Sorrento is known for. Once in the city, I walk and walk and walk some more and have never tired of it.

Posted by
6204 posts

Month of year? Number of people? Mobility challenges? Luggage quantity? Budget travelers?

Some people favor a special bus from the airport to Sorrento, but I've never used it. I would make sure there are several departures after your scheduled arrival time, just in case. Our bargain flight from the U.K. was scheduled (I mean, not "late") so that we had to spend the night in Naples. Not a problem, had a nice walk and pizza lunch the next day.

Bargain hunters use the Circumvesuviana, comparable to an aging commuter train, not operated by the long-distance railroad company. It is exceptionally crowded, only has bus-sized luggage racks, and is found by some (perhaps non-city dwellers) to be scary, with musicians cadging tips and so on. The real problem is finding a place to put a large suitcase where you can supervise it but not block the aisle or the doors. It's a struggle. Most cars are not air conditioned, and it's sweltering from May to September. It is really, really cheap.

You get there in Naples by taking the escalator down from the main rail station concourse. To the left (long walk) are the pay toilets, to the right (long walk) is the Circumvesuviana. Regular ticket windows in Naples, in Sorrento you go to the news stand to buy tickets, no staff in the station. Validate that news stand ticket in the machine before you board. This is really, really inexpensive! This is also how you get to Pompeii and Herculaneum. It's much easier without luggage, as a daytrip. But the bag checks at those two sites are very reliable for time-pressed travelers.

These are easy walks, on modern marble tiles. Don't rely on old travelogues written by post-war travelers. The Naples rail station is superior to most rail stations in the US. Maybe ten years old?

When we were (opinion) overcharged 15 Euros for a short cab ride from the Circumvesuviana to our Sorrento hotel, we made a cheerful decision to have our hotel book a black-car back to the Naples rail station, where we had come from after our night in Naples. It's over 100 Euros now, but we paid 90 back then. Money well spent. Charged to our final hotel bill. Note that most taxi rides in Naples (including to Sorrento, if you were to do that) are flat rates. Download the flat rate sheet so you can show the driver that you know the score.

There used to be few Circumvesuviana departures a day with special fares and special rolling stock, called the Campania Express or something like that. Don't know if it survived the Pandemic.

I imagine there are SITA busses, but I've never read about them here, Naples-Sorrento, I mean. Those might be similar fare as the Circumvesuiana. Maybe a change, because it's over an hour trip.

Posted by
3369 posts

Maybe ten years old?

It's 62 years old, it's the new ticket office and the underground shopping center that were built 10 years ago.

The old station built in 1862 was smaller.

Posted by
14558 posts

This is the motor coach from the Naples airport to Sorrento:

Depending on where you're staying, you may need to take a cab from the dropoff point in Sorrento (the Circumvesuviana train station) to your hotel. Our hotel was walking distance from the train station - we never needed to use cabs to explore the town - but I know that isn't true for all of them.

Note: note that there's no wrong way if it works for you but ferry would be personally be the last option I'd choose. It would be a transfer to the port from the airport, the ferry journey itself, and then (possibly) transport from the port in Sorrento to your hotel, depending on where that is.

Posted by
6204 posts

Dario, I wasn't talking about when the concrete under the railroad ties was laid. I was talking about the main concourse, the mezzanine with the Imperialist Class lounge, the retail on that concourse, the lower level rest rooms and Circumvesuviana transfer (and ticket windows), and the gate agent desks and areas beside the gateways to the trains. When I go downstairs to the trains in New York City, I know that I am entering an ancient, historic district. But the "station" that is presented to passengers is modern.

"62 years old" does not describe the current customer experience at the main Naples train station. Any quarrel with that?

Posted by
3369 posts

Any quarrel with that?

No need to quarrel about something so trivial.

Naples main station was built in 1962 and refurbished first after the earthquake and then 10 years ago. I still remember when the all area was similar to Times Square in the late 70s.

Neapolitans have been deeply hating the new station since the inauguration day, but the old porticoed u-shaped building was really too small to save it. I think something similar happened in NYC.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks, all!

Month of year? Number of people? Mobility challenges? Luggage quantity? Budget travelers?

Tim, there are 2 of us, early 60's, in pretty good shape, and have no mobility issues. Going in mid-April. Still looking at what kind of luggage to take (but only one bag each), and not deep budget travelers but not looking to spend a fortune either.

Posted by
225 posts

We have used the Circumvesuviana line a few times. It takes a little time but it is pleasant and only recommended for during the day. It can get a little sketchy after dark. Other times we hired Monetti Taxi. They can meet you just about anywhere in the area. They are mentioned in the RS guidebook, Sorrento/Amalfi Coast section. Email them for more details. I had a wonderful experience with them.