Capri is one the most famous and beautiful island in Italy located in the south in the Gulf of Naples. If you are planning to visit this incredible paradise you are in the right place to get the best advice on what to do in Capri if you are visiting for the first time. In this article we’ll lay out a simple step by step guide to follow to make your visit to the most popular Italian Island unforgettable.
Offers on tours & activities in Capri here
How to get to Capri
Before we lay out what to do in Capri we need to get to the Island. There are several ways you can get to Capri depending on where you are travelling from. The nearest international airport is Naples Capodichino, from here you need to get a taxi or a bus to Molo Beverello and get the many ferries available to Capri (all year around).
If you are travelling from the Amalfi Coast there are regular services during the summer months from Amalfi, Positano and also Salerno. If you are travelling from Sorrento, you are able to get to Capri all year around. You can also get to Capri from the nearby Islands of Ischia and Procida.
What to do in Capri Island
There is so much to do in Capri and if you are a bit overwhelmed you are not alone; in this article we’ll break down step by step on how to explore this majestic Island and what are the top things to do in Capri. This incredible island has been enchanting people since the Roman times. In fact the Roman Emperor Tiberius loved it so much that he basically lived most of his reign in his Villa in Capri, would you blame him? Let’s go back on our list on what to do In Capri.
Today the island is one of the most visited place in Italy, can get very busy during the summer time between April to October especially with one day visitors coming from nearby towns around the gulf of Naples and the Amalfi Coast, but if you decide to stay on in Capri for few days you’ll see that in the evening once all the day travellers are gone the Island become much quitter and enjoyable.
A Visit to the Blue Grotto
This is one of the sites you don’t want to miss while you are visiting Capri, from the moment you get to the little wooden boat and lie back you’ll be transported to another world with the reflections of blue and black colours, the cave is just magical an incredible experience that you don’t want to miss, the pictures you saw on the web don’t lie.
You can get to the Blue Grotto by sea from Marina Grande with an organized tour, plenty of companies to choose from, or you can take the bus from Anacapri. The grotto is open from 9am to 5pm every day except on the 25th of December and the 1st of January.
Keep in mind that the grotto gets very busy during hight season when lots of day visitors comes into Capri so make sure to plan your visit well, also the best time to visit the grotto is on a sunny day between 12 to 2pm when the sunlight illuminate the inside of the Blue Grotto that create that amazing reflection of blue and black, do not go on a cloudy day as you’ll miss all of that so not worth the visit.
Take in the incredible Views from Monte Solaro
Monte Solaro the highest point of the island at 590 meters above the sea level with magical views over the Faraglioni Rocks, the centre of Capri, part of the Sorrento Peninsula, Li Galli Island (a little island just off the shore of Positano) and the Gulf of Naples. If you visit during a clear day you can see part of the Gulf of Salerno.
How to get to Monte Solaro
There are two ways on how to can get to the top of Monte Solaro:
By foot, the trail starts from Piazza della Pace in Anacapri, the trail is all sign posted and up the hill but not so difficult and can be completed in 1 hour.
By chairlift, it takes about 15 and starts from Piazza Vittoria, the price is €12 round trip or €9 one way.
The chairlift operates as follow:
May to October 9.30am to 5.30pm
March and April 9.30am to 4.30pm
November to February 9.30am to 3.30pm
Please note that times and prices can change at any time so make sure to check them at any info-point at the Piazzetta or at Marina Grande.
Augustus Gardens and Via Krupp views
The Augustus gardens (Giardini di Augusto) known as the Krupp gardens are a botanical garden that were planned by Friedrich Alfred Krupp, a German businessman, in the early 20th century when he was building his mansion in Capri. At the beginning the gardens took the name of “Krupp Gardens” but in 1918 they were renamed “Augustus Gardens”. The garden houses different plants and flowers such as geraniums, brooms and dahlias.
The structures of the gardens (designed in terraces) are particular to the area because of the landscape formation of the Island. The views from the gardens over the Capri coast and Via Krupp are incredible. Inside the gardens there is a marble statue of Vladimir Lenin that was created in 1968 by Giacomo Manzu and was commissioned by the Russian Embassy in Italy.
You can get to the Augustus Gardens by walking from the Piazzetta di Capri taking Via Vittorio Emanuele then Via Federico Serena and lastly Via Matteotti. Th entry fee is €1 euro for adults, free for children. The opening times are as follow during the year:
From April to October 9am to 7.30pm
From November to March 9am to 4,30pm
The best time to visit the gardens are early in the morning and later in the afternoon after 6pm when the gardens are less busy with day visitors.
The Faraglioni Rocks
With the Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto) the Faraglioni Rocks are the most visited attractions of the Island of Capri. This iconic rock formation just out from the island shore has been formed by the batter of the waves beneath them.
The three rocks remaining are named as follows, the closest to the Island is called Stella, the one in the middle is called Mezzo, the smallest and holds the famous archway, and the 3rd is called Scopolo, his name comes from a blue lizard that lives on the rock.
This part of the Island was the favourite place of the Romans because of the incredible views over the coast and the serenity of the area, and because of that they built numerous villas where they passed most of the time enjoying the island views.
The best way to visit the Faraglioni Rocks is by the sea with a boat tour of the Island. If you are travelling with your sweetheart, make sure to exchange a kiss when you are passing through the archway of the Faraglione di Mezzo as this brings luck.
If you want to relax and spend a day swimming around the Faraglioni you can do so at La Fontelina or Da Luigi, make sure that you have a reservation as those two beach clubs get booked up very fast every day as they are very popular.
For great photos the best viewpoint to get the perfect Faraglioni Rocks pictures are from Punta Tragara Belvedere, the Augustus Gardens or Marina Piccola.
The Emperor Villa Jovis
The villa was built by the Roman Emperor Tiberius, he was the first tourist to visit Capri and fell in love with the beauty and the serenity of the Island. He loved the island so much and during the first century A.D. instructed the building of 12 villas, and Villa Jovis was the biggest of them all covering 7000 square metres on top of the Mount Tiberius promontory with incredible views of the Gulf of Naples, Ischia and Punta Campanella from the north side, while the views from the south side overlooks Capri centre.
A characteristic of the Villa is that in the middle of it there are numerous cisterns to collect raining water used for drinking and as a supply for the bath. Unfortunately, Villa Jovis ruins were neglected for a long time so many finds have been lost in the process. Some of the objects can be found in the Archaeological Museum in Naples and the marble was used to build the Santo Stefano church. In 1932 researchers took over the villa and started the excavation and the care of the site. The entry fee is €6, free for EU citizens under the age of 18.
The opening times are as follow:
April, May, September and October from 10am to 6pm
June, July, August from 10am to 7pm
November, December, March from 10am to 4pm
Closed during January and February
You can get to Villa Jovis from the Piazzetta by walking through via Logano then Via Sopramonte and Via Tiberio or alternatively from the Piazzetta take Via Le Botteghe, then Via Furlovando then Via Croce and Via Tiberio, the walk id about 45-50 minutes up the hill.
The French Poet Villa Lysis
Villa Lysis was the refuge of the French poet Jacques d’Adelsward-Fersen. The noble poet built the villa in 1905 because he needed a place to exile the Parisian society after a sex scandal involving a schoolboy.
Villa Lysis is a wonderful creation that represents the personality of the French poet Fersen, elegant, luxurious, eccentric, a very private place where he had the long affair with the young Roman Nino Cesarini until the end of his days.
The villa at the beginning of the 19th century became a place of gathering for artists, poets and writers who visited Capri and made the villa very popular via their writing and artwork.
Today Villa Lysis hosts numerous events during the summer, concerts, dance performances, exhibitions and theatrical shows. The villa can also be used to host private parties, weddings or gala dinners.
You can get to Villa Lysis from the Piazzetta in Capri along via Le Botteghe, Via Furlovado and then Via Croce or by taking Via Logano and Via Sopramonte, once you get at the cross you need to get Via Tiberioto get to the villa. The walk is around 45-50 minutes up the hill so make sure to wear very comfortable shoes. The entry fee is €2, free for kids under the age of 12.
Opening times are as follow:
April, May and September from 10am to 6pm
June, July and August from 10am to 7pm
November and December from 10am to 4pm
Closed on Wednesday
Villa San Michele
The villa was built in the 19th century by the Swedish author and physician Axel Muthe, originally the villa was a neglected chapel dedicated to San Michele. The villa is located in Anacapri the upper part of Capri with spectacular views over the Gulf of Naples and the coastline.
Today the villa is a museum where you will find different pieces of art from different era, like the Egyptian sphinx, the bust of the Emperor Tiberius, Roman frescos and statues, sacred Medieval art and so much more.
The gardens surrounding the villa have beautiful Mediterranean flora, the likes of camellias, rose bushes, hydrangeas and also pine and cypress trees. Every summer at the villa is held a very important musical festival called the Concerti al Tramonto. You can get to Villa San Michele from Capri by taking the local bus or by taxi to Piazza Vittoria in Anacapri.
The entry fee to the villa is €8 and is open every day all year around.
Opening time are as follow:
May, June, July, August and September from 9am to 6pm
April and October from 9am until 5pm
March from 9am until 4.30pm
January, February, November and December from 9am to 3.30pm
The Charterhouse of St. Giacomo
Built in 1371 by Count Giacomo Arucci of Capri. The Charterhouse of San Giacomo (Certosa San Giacomo) is the oldest building in Capri island.
The building was the house of an order of monks, the Charterhouse is divided in 3 buildings, one side used by the male monks, one for the nunnery and one holds cells that were used by monks to meditate in isolation. Today the building is a museum and used for events. This is the perfect place to escape the craziest of the centre of Capri to relax by peaceful surroundings.
You can get to the Charterhouse of St. Giacomo from the Piazzetta take Via Vittorio Emanuele II then Via Serena and then turn left in Via Matteotti. The entry fee is €6, free for EU citizens under 18 and €2 for EU citizens between the age of 18 to 25.
The opening times are as follows:
May 10am to 6pm
June, July, August 10am to 7pm
September and October 10am to 5pm
November, December, January, February, March from 9am to 3.30pm
Closed on Monday
Il Faro – Punta Carena Lightouse
If you ask a Caprese (this is the name of the people living in Capri) Punta Carena, il Faro, is the best beach on the Island. This is not really a beach but a rocky bay where you can dive directly to the blue crystal water.
Il Faro, the lighthouse is one the oldest one in Italy and has been used since 1867 and one of the brightest lights of Italy about 28 meters high. If you walk down the road leading to Anacapri you’ll have incredible views over the coastline.
You can get to Punta Carena Lighthouse by bus (Faro-Anacapri-Terminal route) from Piazza della Pace, or by walking from Via Vuova del Faro from Anacapri centre, the walk is about 1 hour long and the views along the road are incredible.
Take a Deep at Marina Piccola
If you are looking to spend a day at the beach with the Faraglioni Rocks in the back Marina Piccola is the place for you. The beach is formed of two sections split by the rocks the Marina di Mulo and the Marina di Pennauro, they were used by the Romans as a little port. The best time to get to visit is early in the morning or after 5pm in the afternoon to avoid the crowd.
Marina Piccola is located in the south of the island and can be reached by bus or by walk from the Piazzetta. If you wish to walk follow Via Roma to Due Golfi then take the stairs down at Via Mulo, the walk is about 15-20 minutes.
People Watching at La Piazzetta
One of the most famous piazza in the world where you can spot the rich and famous that visit Capri Island every year. Its known as la Piazzetta di Capri but actually on the maps goes under Piazza Umberto I. This little busing square (piazza) is the centre of island life.
The name Piazzetta, which in Italian means little square, comes from the small size of the piazza. Usually the square is very busy during the day with the one day visitors and at night before dinner for an aperitivo and after dinner for a cocktail in the many bars around the piazza.
The best time to visit the Piazzetta is early in the morning when only the locals are passing through on the way to work or going to the beach for an early dip.
From the Piazzetta you can get to the Cathedral of Santo Stefano dating back to the 17th century, this is the most important church of the Island, and also the Centro Caprese Ignazio Cerio, which is inside the 14th century Palazzo Arcucci. The symbol of the Piazzetta is the Torre del Orologio, a free-standing clock tower.
You can get to the Piazzetta from Marina Grande with the funicular or by bus.
Escape to the Historic centre of Anacapri
If you are looking for a quitter place on the island the historic centre of Anacapri is the place for you. Forget the buzz and craziness of the Piazzetta in Capri here is completely the opposite, a very quiet and peaceful place to relax and take in the surroundings. The main attractions are La Casa Rossa, a deep Pompeian red building that was the house of the American colonel John Clay MacKowen until 1899, he came to Italy after the American Civil War.
Inside the house you can admire the exhibition of “The Painted Island, a Pictorial Journey to Capri and Anacapri between the 19th and 20th century”, featuring the works of Carelli, Carabain, Hay, Barret, Vianelli and Casciaro. Not far from Casa Rossa, only a few minutes’ walk, in Piazza San Nicola there is the Baroque Church of San Michele Arcangelo dating back to the 17th century, the church was designed by Antonio Domenico Vaccaro.
The most beautiful feature in the church is the incredible hand painted ceramic floor representing the expulsion of Adam and Eva from Eden. This amazing hand painted floor was created by Leonardo Chiaiese in the 18th century. To get the best view of the floor in all his glory get to the organ loft above.
Depending on the time you have you may also consider a visit to La Chiesa of Santa Sofia dating back to the 16th century and Piazza Boffe one the oldest district in Anacapri.
You can get to Anacapri by bus from Capri or Marina Grande.
The best viewpoints in Capri
For the most amazing views and incredible photos opportunity the following area is a must visit. The Tragara Belvedere for unforgettable views over the Faraglioni Rocks, Belvedere Cannone for the amazing views over Marina Piccola, the Charterhouse and Augustus Gardens and the Faraglioni.
Another natural beauty you don’t want to miss is the Natural Arch (Arco Naturale) an amazing arch suspended above the crystal turquoise sea, further down you can also visit the Grotta di Matromani.
Go shopping Via Camerelle
If you have money to spare, get to Via Camerelle, where you’ll find probably the highest concentration of luxury shops in Italy, from Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vitton, Bulgari, Valentino, Gucci and many more.
If you wish to buy something hand made on the island there are lots of little artisan shops across Capri to choose from, the most famous item is the Capri sandals made by hand by the island artisan Infront of you.
Explore the Island by Boat
The best way to explore the island is by doing a boat tour or to rent a boat yourself and enjoy the day at sea by discovering the many wonderful grottos and its dramatic coastline.
There are many organised private or shared boat tours leaving daily from Marina Grande and the duration of the tours start from 2 hours up to 5-6 hours at sea discovering this unique island. Prices may vary depending on the duration of the tour, the boat and the month. Prices start around €17 per person for a shared tour and €160 for a private hire for a two hours tour.
Where to Eat
I have a list of suggestion on the best places to eat and drink in Capri here
Where to Stay
I have a list of the best places to stay in Capri here
We hope that our step by step guide on what to do in Capri will help you to enjoy this incredible island during your visit. From Capri you can do a day visit to the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento.