The Best Bars on the Amalfi Coast

Courtesy Le Sirenuse Positano
Courtesy Le Sirenuse Positano
Photo of Mary Gray
10 September 2021

It may be lauded for its after-dinner limoncello, but the Amalfi Coast is prime sipping territory from aperitivo hour onwards. The key word is “sip” – though this jewel of Southern Italy has always been big with party people, overindulgence there is typically on sun and seafood, not booze. So, for a small glass or two, try the bars below. From glitzy lounges to open-air bistros, cocktails and people-watching are served in equal measure.

Rada - Positano

Restaurant, Cocktail Bar, Italian, $$$
Map View
Rada Beach Positano, Amalfi, Provincia Salerno, Italy
Rada Beach Positano, R12M4R Positano, a terrace restaurant, Amalfi, Provincia Salerno, Italy | © AWP / Alamy

Part restaurant, part cocktail bar, and all textbook Amalfi Coast glamour, Rada overlooks Positano’s main beach, Spiaggia Grande. The ambience and aesthetics are top-notch: Rada is carved into a cave formation, with a dance area hosting live music nights and an outdoor lounge bar serving cocktails.

Il Birecto - Atrani

Bar, Bistro, Italian
Map View

Although it’s now a full-service bistro, Il Birecto was a bar for most of its life, and still makes a mean lemon spritz – a cocktail containing prosecco and limoncello. Come aperitivo time, indulge in a crisp regional wine and a spread of simple savoury nibbles: think olives, cheeses and cured meats. Il Birecto is also tough to beat for a light breakfast, juice or frothy cappuccino.

Fauno Bar - Sorrento

Bar, Cafe, Restaurant, Italian, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
Map View
Fauno Bar at Piazza Tasso, Sorrento, Italy
H52D57 Fauno Bar at Piazza Tasso, Sorrento, Italy | © Keith Heron / Alamy

Right in the heart of Piazza Tasso, Sorrento’s liveliest square, Fauno Bar is always a solid bet from cappuccino hour onwards. Open until 2am, it’s perfect for a pre-dinner bite or a nightcap after a long day exploring. The drink you choose is of little consequence; spontaneity and the buzz of the square are the pull, making Fauno a people-watcher’s paradise and a solo traveller’s ticket to new connections.

Capri Rooftop Lounge Bar - Capri

Bar, Italian
Map View

In Rome, you do as the Romans do; in Capri, you don’t scrimp. Stop by this lavish rooftop bar facing the spiky faraglioni rock formations for a pre-dinner palate-whetter after a wander through the nearby Gardens of Augustus. If you’re happy to shell out for the experience, steer clear of standard drinks and opt for signature cocktails like the Luna Caprese (Capri Moon), made with vodka, limoncello, a mix of citrus flavours and soda.

Franco’s Bar - Positano

Bar, Italian
Map View

No reservations are taken at this old-school, open-air seaside bar, which means that even the queue is an event. Once you’re in, the cobalt-blue tables and other design details command almost as much attention as the views. Wines by the glass are on offer, alongside classic cocktails chilled in Murano-made tumblers. Your best bet are Franco’s classy specialities – try Dipinto di Blu, a vodka, Italicus, ginger and orange concoction that’s as iconic as its namesake Domenico Modugno tune.

Vittoria’s Bar - Sorrento

Bar, Cocktails
Map View
Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria_295618e9
Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria | Courtesy of Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria / Expedia

Come for the cocktails, stay for the views of Vesuvius. Vittoria’s Bar is part of Sorrento’s Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, and the activity in its host square, Piazza Tasso, hums in the background. Stiff martinis and other standbys can be enjoyed inside or out, but this buttoned-up bar isn’t exactly a seaside Spritz joint, so booking ahead is best. For an even more elegant option, the hotel garden hosts La Pergola bar, where the focus is on champagne and regional wines paired with glimpses across the Bay of Naples.

Bar Tiberio - Capri

Restaurant, Bar, Italian
Map View
Bar Tiberio, La Piazzetta, Capri, island of Capri, Italy, Europe
BYE1BR Bar Tiberio, La Piazzetta, Capri, island of Capri, Italy, Europe | © imageBROKER / Alamy

Named after the Roman emperor Tiberius and run by the Pisanzio family, this Piazza Umberto mainstay has an easy, breezy vibe. Come here for the views of the square and Monte Solaro, but don’t skip out on a sgroppino – a blended delight of lemon sorbet, prosecco and vodka, served in an ice-cold champagne flute.

Il Pirata - Praiano

Restaurant, Bar, Nightclub, Italian, $$$
Map View

Sure, it’s a bit kitsch, but Praiano’s Il Pirata (The Pirate) – a beach bar and club built into a rock formation, serving up drinks with names like Captain Hook – can win over even the staunchest travel purists. Much of its appeal stems from its full-day functionality: rent a sunbed at the Beach Club for the morning, have a midday swim in the sea, shower off for lunch at the restaurant and then mosey along to the lounge come happy hour.

Looking for more recommendations on the Amalfi Coast? Opt for a relaxing stay at one of these luxury hotels or enjoy more privacy in a holiday apartment. You can even book your next stay right here on Culture Trip. There’s plenty to do, too, from hiking the Amalfi Coast’s Path of the Gods to eating delicious local fare at these must-visit restaurants.

This is an updated version of an article originally by Gillian McGuire.

These recommendations were updated on September 10, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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