Despite visiting Capri dozens of times over the years, it was not until this summer that I finally stayed overnight on the island. For years I simply day-tripped from Sorrento. This was because Capri is pricey and not worth it to stay overnight with students. I have to admit, however, that it was really refreshing to see and experience the island after hours. Most tourist simply day trip, so the island feels completely different once the last ferry departs.
Capri is basically a giant rock that sticks out of the ocean. So, it is not exactly the easiest to navigate (brace yourself for a lot of stairs and go ahead and splurge on porter services for your luggage). But the same rocks that make Capri hard on your knees also creates the clearest and bluest waters you will ever see. Before visiting the island (whether day-tripping or spending the night) there are a few basics you should know. Obviously, the island is only reachable by boat. You can opt to do a private boat transfer or take the public ferry. Private boats and ferries depart daily from Naples, Sorrento, and Positano. In the busy summer months, you will want to pre-book your ferries to ensure a seat (here is a good website).
You can divide Capri into a couple of main areas – the main port area (Marina Grande), the main town area (the Piazzetta), Marina Piccola, and Annacapri. Once you arrive to the main port, you have to either take the funicular, a taxi, or walk up hill to reach the main town. The funicular is the cheapest and easiest option, but the convertible taxis are also a cool experience. On the other side of the island is Marina Piccola, which is where the free beach is located. You can walk down to Marina Piccola from the main town. Finally, at the very top of the island is Annacapri. You can reach Annacapri by bus from either the main port or main town area. Seeing all four of these areas in one day makes for a very busy and unpleasant day. If you are only day tripping, I suggest choosing between either Annacapri or Marina Piccola.
Below is a list of all of my favorite things to see and do in Capri as well as a roundup of my favorite places to eat and drink.
Where to Eat/Drink:
Granitas in the Piazzetta – simple, fresh, and delicious! Make sure you ask for a granita “mezzo limone, mezzo arancia.” It’s half lemon granita, half fresh-squeezed orange juice with a splash of vodka (optional).
Michel’angelo – family-run and friendly, this restaurant is not only delicious, they also offer cooking classes onsite and even prepare fresh picnics for hikes!
Da Gioa – great view and amazing sea food.
What to See and Do:
Boat Tour – the best way to see Capri is with a boat tour around the island with a stop at the famed Blue Grotto. You can easily book a tour from your hotel or when you arrive by ferry in Marina Grande. I also use Motoscafisti to book for my students or go through Cassandra at Travel Italian Style for personal/private trips.
La Fontelina – famous for good reason! This beach club is picture perfect and overlooks the famous faraglioni rocks. The service and food are both excellent and there is a boat shuttle to Marina Piccola. Just be sure to make a reservation in the busy summer months.
Marina Piccola – the “free” beach. If you aren’t staying on island, your hotel doesn’t have beach access, or you simply don’t want to pay for beach access, Marina Piccola is a great option (note – you must pay to access most beached in Capri).
Garden of Augustus (or Kupp Gardens) – stunning gardens overlooking the sea.
Villa Jovis – the island of Capri was just as popular with the ancient Roman elite as it is today with modern travelers. Roman emperors used it as a retreat and built lavish villas, many of which you can still visit today (as ruins). Built by Emperor Tiberius, the ruins of this stunning villa offer stunning views of the island.
Chairlift in Anna Capri – fly high above Capri!
Hiking (with a picnic) – my favorite restaurant on the island, Michel’angelo, has created short hikes (10-35 minutes) which highlight amazing views and perfect picnic spots. They will even pack the picnic for you! Emil them to book or for more info.
Where to Stay:
Hotel Flora – Since I have only stayed once, I can only really recommend where I stayed. This hotel is simple but cute and very well-priced given the usually high price tag in Capri.