The town of Sorrento also known as the city of the Sirens is located in the south of Naples about 1-hour drive in the Gulf of Naples. In the last few years Sorrento thanks to the vicinity to the Amalfi Coast became a base and a cheaper option to explore the area. In this article we’ll lay down the top free things to do in Sorrento if you are a budget traveller, let’s be honest we all love free stuff to do.
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How to get to Sorrento
Before we dive in on the best free things to do in Sorrento, we need to get there. The best and cheaper (only €3.60 one way) option is to get to Naples train station and from there you can get the Circumvesuviana train all the way to Sorrento central station. If you are arriving at Capodichino airport the cheapest option is to get the Curreri Bus (only €10) all the way to Sorrento train station which is located close to the centre of town only 5 minutes’ walk to Piazza Tasso.
Our List of the top Free Things to Do in Sorrento
The Villa Comunale is located only 5 minutes’ walk from Piazza Tasso, a free public garden with incredible views over the bay of Naples, the Mt. Vesuvius and the coastline. The best time to visit the park to get the best photo opportunity is at sunrise or a sunset.
Vallone Dei Mulini
The Vallone dei Mulini dates back 35,000 years after a violent eruption of the Campi Flegrei covered all the area between Punta Scutolo to Capo di Sorrento with debris. A member of the Correale family built a mill for the grain grinding that was sold to the Sorrento population. Today the valley is not accessible but is a great place to visit and take some great photos.
Punta Campanella Marine Reserve
This is one of the most incredible hikes located around the Sorrento area in Massa Lubrense. The starting point is from the village of Termini from the main square using a Roman path that leads to the magical beach of Jeranto in Nerano, from here the views over the Faraglioni Rocks in Capri and the coastline are to die for. You can combine a great hike that ends with a swim in the blue clear waters.
The museum is owned by the last member of the Correale family Pompeo and Alfreado Correale. The museum is in a patrician villa surrounded by orange trees, (Sorrento is a big producer of oranges) with a terrace of Belvedere with incredible views over the Gulf of Naples. In the museum there are collections from Neapolitan painters dated back the 17th and 18th century and also feature ceramics from Capodimonte and Sevres, plus Murano glassware, Bohemia crystals and an extensive collection of watches.
A Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to the Saints Philip the Apostle and James the Just. The cathedral dates back to the 11th century but 400 years later a massive rebuild was done that transformed the entire building. The main feature of the church is the Bell Tower. The cathedral is only 3 minutes’ walk from Piazza Tasso so very easy to get to.
Cloister of San Francesco (Chiostro di San Francesco)
The Cloister of San Francesco located near the Villa Comunale so only 3-4 minutes away from Piazza Tasso the heart of Sorrento, dates back to the 14th century the building incorporates remains from pagan temples and materials from the ancient settlements.
The Cloister was built on the remains of a 7th century monastery and played a very important role for the religious history of Sorrento and for the administrative life of the city, in fact between the 14th and 15th century it was used as a local Council. Today the Cloister holds live classical music concerts and as a venue for weddings.
This is the heart of Sorrento, the square is dedicated to the poet Torquato Tasso with a statue in the middle of the piazza. If you are looking to relax and you love people watching by sipping a great Italian wine or an Aperol Spritz this is the best place to do so in Sorrento. From the piazza you have easy access to shops, bars, restaurants and also the port is located close by.
The Queen Giovanna Bath
Located at the Capo di Sorrento this popular beach is part of a Roman Villa (Pollio Felice) ruins, this is an incredible place where nature, sea and the past all come together. A legend says that the name comes from the Queen Giovanna D’Angio’ of Naples because between the 13 and 14th century the Queen came on holiday here. The Queen Giovanna baths can be reached from the Capo di Sorrento by a trail going down for about 20 minutes, along the way you can admire the spectacular views overlooking the coast.
Chiesa San Constanzo
This is the heist mountain (Monte San Costanzo) along the Sorrento Peninsula, located in Massa Lubrense, where you can admire a 360-degree view over the Gulf of Naples, Capri and Salerno. The church is a part of two peaks located here, one is the church of San Constanzo hence the name of the area and the other is a radio traffic control station. In between these two sites there is a small pine forest which offers a parking place and also a pleasant shaded area for picnic. You can get to the area by bus from Sorrento to Termini, and from here you need to follow the trail to the mountain (everything is sign posted) If you are driving you need to follow the signs to Termini and from here follow the on Via Capo D’Arco that will lead you to the pine area near the church.
Walk through the old town in Sorrento
From Piazza Tasso walk towards Via San Cesareo where the old part of Sorrento starts, along the charming historic street there are lots of artisan workshops where you can buy the most amazing products made in Sorrento. Walking along the vicoletti (little streets in Italian) you’ll pass by the Frescoed Cupola of Sedil Dominova, once was by the Sorrento high society as a social club, every year during Christmas time a traditional Neapolitan Nativity is displayed here.
Punta Campanella Hike
Punta Campanella is located close to the Chiesa San Constanzo and from here you get the best views over the Island of Capri. In addition to the incredible views of Capri a 14th century watch tower can be found here. To get to Punta Campanella once you are in Termini you need to follow the same path to get to Chiesa San Consanzo but at one point, everything is sign posted, you need to take the lower path to get to the watch tower.
Sorrento Best Beaches:
- Marina Grande Beach: This is the main beach in Sorrento, located in the heart of the town. It is a small pebble beach with clear blue waters and great views of Mount Vesuvius.
- Cala di Puolo Beach: This beach is located a few kilometers from Sorrento and is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the area. It is a secluded cove with crystal-clear waters and a peaceful atmosphere.
- Bagni della Regina Giovanna: This is a natural pool located near the ruins of a Roman villa. The pool is surrounded by cliffs and offers stunning views of the sea.
- Marina Piccola Beach: This beach is located on the other side of the Sorrento peninsula, opposite Marina Grande. It is a small beach with clear waters and a quiet atmosphere.
- Nerano Beach: This beach is located about 15 kilometers from Sorrento and is considered one of the most beautiful beaches on the Amalfi Coast. It is a small pebble beach with crystal-clear waters and stunning views of the sea.
I hope that this simple guide on the best free things to do in Sorrento will help you during your stay in the city of the Sirens to explore this wonderful part of Italy.
More free advice on what to do in Sorrento here