After enjoying your time in Naples, Italy, maybe you’d like to make your way on to Sorrento. Or vice versa.
Naples and Sorrento are only around 50 km (30 miles) apart, but what is the best way to travel between the two cities?
Well, our tour guides in Sorrento and Naples are always being asked about travel between these two locations, so they have a lot of helpful tips we'll include below.
We’ve detailed a few of those options below.
- Train | EAV Cicrumvesuviana
- Train | Compania Express
- Private Vehicle - Self Driven
- Private Vehicle - Hired Driver
The first thing to know about traveling between Naples and Sorrento is that there are several options, including the train, bus, ferry, and of course driving there!
Our tour guides know all about this journey, as they have themselves traveled between these cities.
While trains are going to be one of the easiest options for most people, renting a car will allow you to stop and experience some of the smaller villages along the way.
Driving will be the fastest way to get there, with the typical journey taking around 1 hour on average.
Trains are almost as fast, clocking in at about 80-90 minutes at most. Buses can sometimes be just a bit quicker than the train, but depending on traffic, they could take even longer.
The ferry also takes around 80-90 minutes, but it's a much better option if you would prefer a cruise along the coast of Italy!
Depending on which option you choose, the trip could cost as little as €4 or as much as €200. Obviously, we recommend the cheapest option (the Circumvesuviana train) since there's little difference in travel time.
Although our Rome Travel Tips Facebook Group is typically focused primarily on just one ancient city, sometimes our group members will also have advice for other areas in Italy.
If you have any questions you can't find an answer for in this post, make sure to ask us our Facebook Group as well - just to be sure!
By the way, if you are planning on taking a tour when you get here, it's worth noting that our free Sorrento walking tour starts in Piazza Tasso.
This is just a few short blocks from both the train station and the ferry terminal, and most people should be able to walk here in approximately 5-10 minutes.
These tours are offered 4 times a day between 10:30 am and 3:00 pm. There are also paid tours covering the best foods in the area, the Amalfi coast, and more.
For additional details, check our full post on Sorrento walking tours.
One of the easiest and best ways to get from Naples to Sorrento is by train.
There are a few options in this area, one of which is the EAV Circumvesuviana.
As you can tell by the name, this train goes around (circumvents) the base of Mount Vesuvius.
It makes a stop at Pompeii Train Station, and a number of other cities, on the way to Sorrento
This tired little train with no air-conditioning tends to be packed full of locals, tourists, and, at times, pickpockets.
The Circumversuviana trains leave Naples Centrale Train Station (Napoli Centrale) in Piazza Garibaldi, departing from track 3 on the lower level.
Follow the signs to Circumvesuviana and/or EAV to find your platform.
Sorrento is the final destination on the blue line.
Trains go out all day, around 2-3 times an hour, from early morning to around 21:30 (9:30 pm).
A pdf of an up-to-date timetable of departure times can be downloaded from here, on the left under ENG on the same page, or from the apps.
The trip from Naples to Sorrento takes about an hour and ten minutes on a train marked D (direct), and a one-way ticket costs under €4.
With departures also leaving from Napoli Centrale and running along the same line as the Circumvesuviana, the Compania Express train is a second option.
This train was created with the passengers’ comfort in mind. It has guaranteed seating, air-conditioning, and a place for luggage storage.
When looking at the schedule, note that the trains marked EXP are Express.
The Express makes fewer stops along the way, and it takes only about 50 minutes to get from Naples to Sorrento.
With the added comforts comes a bump in ticket pricing. A ticket purchase costs around €15.
Like the Circumvesuviana, tickets can be purchased at the station. They can also be purchased online.
It’s an “easy” drive down a few motorways to get from Naples to Sorrento.
However, there are a few things to consider if you decide to drive directly or take any side trips.
You’ll need both a license and an International Driving Permit.
This permit “translates” your license and will be requested if stopped by the police.
You’ll also need insurance, as civil liability insurance is mandatory.
There is likely to be a lot of traffic congestion during tourist season, and trips can take much longer than expected.
Italians like to drive fast! It can be a bit scary when up against these fast-moving cars with drivers that all seem to play by their own rules.
Scooters can also be a bit of a menace.
Relatedly, you need to be aware of speed traps. Many a tourist has come home to a ticket from the police.
Some of the roads in this part of Italy can be rather twisty, with cliffs plunging down to the sea on one side.
However, if you’d like the freedom to visit a number of cities or sites in and around Naples and Sorrento, a car does give you some flexibility.
Rather than rush from one spot to the next, you could make a day trip (or two) out of it, stopping at various locations along the way.
Here are just some of the places you might want to visit before heading to either Naples or Sorrento.
- Baiae | Baiae is a seaside town on the Bay of Naples where ancient Romans used to holiday before part of the city slid into the ocean.
- Ischia | A ferry can take you and your car across to Ischia directly from the Port of Naples. Once you’re there, you’ll find a relaxed island with beaches, museums, a castle, a magical garden, a grotto, and plenty of lovely restaurants with a view.
- Pompeii | Underneath the ash of this archeological site lies a once thriving city, long ago destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. There are many options for tours of this amazing site.
- Herculaneum | Like Pompeii, the city of Herculaneum was buried in volcanic ash. It was also found to be well preserved underneath and can be visited.
- Castellammare di Stabia This city on the Bay of Naples lies beneath beaches and hills. It’s known for its hot springs and was once popular with the ancient Romans. The town was destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius but rebuilt over time. The name comes from a castle on the hill. You can also find archeological digs, churches, and resorts.
- Capri | Ferries run hourly to the island of Capri, taking passengers to this small, rocky, gorgeous, and fashionable island. There are two ways in, through Marina Grande, the more popular gateway, or Marina Piccalo. You have to leave your car on the mainland, but there are plenty of options for getting around the island.
- The Amalfi Coast | 13 colorful towns lie dotted along the 50 kilometers (30 miles) that make up the dramatic and beautiful Amalfi Coast, with Sorrento and Salerno on each end. The rich and famous have been visiting the area for hundreds of years, and it has become popular with tourists now as well.
There are a number of companies that provide private transfers from Naples to Sorrento or other cities in the area.
A car or van will pick you up and drop you off at your designated location, whether that be an airport, a hotel, or somewhere else.
The cost, which depends on the stops made, is often worth it to avoid the stress of finding your way around an area you haven’t driven in before.
You can expect to spend anywhere between €55 and €180.
There are two bus companies that run shuttle routes between Naples and Sorrento.
One, Curreri Viaggi, leaves from the Naples airport outside of terminal 1.
The positives are that it is inexpensive and completely avoids going into central Naples.
The negatives can potentially be many. It can be a toss-up whether you have a good trip or a bad one.
For some, the bus is easy to find, is air-conditioned, the driver communicates well, and the bus arrives and departs on time. For others, the opposite might be true.
The trip takes around an hour and 15 minutes.
Tickets can be booked here and cost around €10.
SITA, a second option, leaves from a few locations in Naples: Porta Nolana or Napoli Garibaldi.
From Sorrento, it leaves from the P1 Parking lot at Capodchino International Airport.
Around 8 buses go out daily.
It takes about as long as the slow train would, with stops along the way and trips coming in at around an hour and ten minutes.
Tickets can be purchased from anything with the SITA SUD logo, including newspaper stands, bars, cafes, and shops. A complete list of locations can be found here.
The cost depends on the type of ticket purchased and can run anywhere from €10-15.
A quick way to get from Naples to Sorrento is by boat. It’s actually by hydrofoil, which is a fast type of ferry. Some folks also call it a catamaran.
There are two ferry companies that make the trip:
- Alilauro runs year-round and goes out around 4 times a day.
- NLG runs for only part of the year and goes out just over a dozen times a week.
The trips with both Alilauro and NLG take around 35–45 minutes, although NLG tends to be a little faster.
On Ailiauro, you can take 1 piece of luggage weighing up to 9 kg, and on NLG, it’s 1 piece of luggage weighing up to 5 kg.
Be sure to check the websites for the maximum dimensions allowed for luggage.
Note that there are no cabins on board. Everyone sits in seats together in a single room, much like on an airplane.
Both ferries go out from or arrive at one of 3 passenger terminals on Naples’ seaport: Baverello, Mergellina Pier, and Calata Porta di Massa Pier.
The ferries arrive (or depart) from Sorrento's Marina Piccola.
Public transport buses and trains run to ports in both cities, as do taxis, so you won't have a problem getting there.
Note that trips can be suspended at any time due to bad weather.
Tickets can be purchased online or at the port. It's recommended, though, that, due to the high number of travelers who visit the area, you book the tickets ahead of time.
Or you can book through a company that sells tickets to both, like Direct Ferries.