Last updated on June 10, 2024 by Stefano Ferro, founder of MEL365, following extensive travelling in Naples and Amalfi Coast

Where to stay in Salerno | 3 Best Areas & Hotels

This city is often seen as the last stop towards the Amalfi Coast and is bypassed by most, which is a pity because Salerno would deserve at least a couple of nights, besides being a good budget base to explore Positano or the ruins of Pompeii.

In this guide, you will discover the main 3 areas to stay in Salerno. I love the Historical Centre but it’s not exactly close to the ferry or train station and it may not work if you are using Salerno as a base to explore the nearby attractions.

But let’s jump straight away to the key points with a quick table that compares the 3 best places to stay in Salerno with all the pros, cons and suggested hotels (swipe left/right on a mobile to see all the columns).

Map of the best areas to stay in Salerno
Map of the best areas to stay in Salerno

Where to stay in Salerno – Key Points

AreaHotelBest ForProsConsAverage CostRestaurantsGood for Families with Kids
Historical Centre – Centro StoricoTrotula Charming HouseCharm, first visitPlenty of character, great dining, tourist sightsBusy areas, pricier, transit challenges$$$Varied and authenticModerate
New Centre – Corso Vittorio EmanueleCalypsosuiteTransit, lively vibeExcellent connections, shopping/dining hub, waterfront promenadeCan be noisy, touristy in parts, busy in summer$-$$Trendy and diverseYes
TorrioneBlue Sea SalernoBudget, beach accessAffordable prices, seaside location, easier parkingFarther from sights, lacks charm, far from the ferry/train station$Casual and affordableYes
A drone view of the Old Centre
A drone view of the Old Centre

My 3 best hotels in Salerno

Salerno - Piazza della Libertà
Salerno – Piazza della Libertà

Historical Centre – Centro Storico

  • Best place for charm & first visit

Pros

  • plenty of character,
  • great dining,
  • tourist sights

Cons

  • busy areas,
  • pricier,
  • transit challenges

Let me tell you, if you really want to experience the authentic, full-flavoured heart of Salerno, staying right in the thick of the old Historic Center is an absolute must. This compact little neighbourhood has so much character and history, surely the best area to stay for a romantic getaway with your partner.

As soon as you start wandering the Centro Storico’s maze of narrow lanes and tight lanes, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time. Salerno experienced its heyday during the Medieval and Norman periods and you can still admire some unique buildings from that era, as well as from the Renaissance time.

Suddenly, you’ll stumble into a tiny leafy piazza anchored by an elegant medieval church or bubbling stone fountain where locals gather to chat over tiny glasses of espresso (caffe’ al vetro, opposite to caffe’ in tazzina – in a cup).

Every twist and turn offers another picturesque streetscape to photograph – sunlight dappling ancient brick archways, laundry swaying on lines draped across cobblestones, nonnas in headscarves selling plump tomatoes from wicker baskets on the sidewalk. Pure, timeless Italian slice-of-life scenes. It’s the real true local life, such a contrast with any place on the Amalfi Coast.

The other huge draw of the Historic Centre is the food and drink scene. You can find cozy family-run trattories all around this area. It’s not uncommon at all to still experience a real-deal nonna directing the tiny kitchen while preparing home-style Campanian specialties like spaghetti alle vongole or the most unique pizza al portafoglio.

Salerno, although so close to the glamorous Amalfi Coast, feels a thousand kilometres away from the pretentious overpriced seaside spots in Positano.

And when you need a break from incredible pasta and vino, there are plenty of cultural sights to explore too. You’ve got to wander the majestic Duomo di Salerno Cathedral, climb up to the Medieval Arechi Castle for panoramic views, and stroll through the lush, shady gardens of the Minerva Gardens Botanical Park.

Arechi Castle on top of the hill overlooking Salerno
Arechi Castle on top of the hill overlooking Salerno

The Centro Storico definitely has a lively, buzzing energy that can mean crowds and noise until late, especially in high season. And being in the heart of the old town means you will have limited parking which is not great if you are driving around the Campania region or Italy.

If you are using public transportation, be aware the train station and ferries down by the waterfront are not exactly next door, so it’s not as convenient if you are planning to stay just overnight.

Here are 2 great accommodations in the Historical Centre

Trotula Charming House ($$$$): 1BR boutique apartment with stunning views, well-equipped and as original as it can be. Amazing frescos in the rooms.

B&B Il Nespolo ($-$$): Clean, spacious rooms with a well-equipped kitchen. Great location and amazing value for money.

The Historical Centre of Salerno
The Historical Centre of Salerno

New Centre – Around Corso Vittorio Emanuele

  • Best place for transportation & lively vibe

Pros

  • excellent connections,
  • shopping/dining hub,
  • waterfront promenade

Cons

  • can be noisy,
  • touristy in parts,
  • busy in summer

If you’re looking to be right in the lively and modern heart of Salerno with easy access to transportation links, then basing yourself around the Corso Vittorio Emanuele (New Centre) strip could be the perfect fit.

Corso Vittorio Emanuele is the centre of the action, both day and night. By day, it’s a shopper’s paradise packed with trendy boutiques, bustling cafes for an afternoon espresso hit, and big-name stores. When the sun goes down, the area becomes popular with the local fashion crowd that starts populating the buzzing bars and restaurants lining the streets.

Another street I suggest is the Lungomare Trieste, the main waterfront promenade. My tip: if you like jogging, start your day with a run along the 2km Lungomare, there is a wide sidewalk lined up with palm trees which is just the best way to start your day with a beautiful view into the Gulf of Salerno. You’ll feel worlds away from the traffic and bustle just a few blocks inland.

But perhaps the biggest draw of staying in this neighbourhood is the supreme convenience when it comes to public transit. You’re just a short walk from the main train station, making it a total breeze to travel north to the lovely town of Naples (40 minutes) or south to Agropoli and the Calabria region. 

The New Centre of Salerno is also a great town to stay to visit the ruins of Pompeii (45 minutes by train) and a budget place to book your hotel to experience Positano and the Amalfi Coast by ferry (1 hour, terminal in Piazza della Concordia)

The biggest downside, in my opinion, is that this area can feel more impersonal and touristy compared to the Historic Centre. Noise from traffic and night owls spilling out of bars can be an issue, and in this respect, I always suggest paying attention to where is going to be your accommodation. A few streets should be avoided but most are safe (see my suggested hotels below).

Here are 2 great accommodations in the New Centre

Calypsosuite ($$): One of the best places in the New Centre. You can either book a double or a 2BR apartment, ideal for families. Just refurbished with modern furniture and amenities.

Dalmazia($): Located near Corso Vittorio Emanuele and the bus/train station. Comfortable rooms with modern amenities. Great value for money.

New Centre and Corso Vittorio Emanuele
New Centre and Corso Vittorio Emanuele

Torrione

  • Best place for budget & beach access

Pros

  • affordable prices,
  • seaside location,
  • easier parking

Cons

  • farther from sights,
  • lacks charm,
  • far from the ferry/train station

If saving some euros is a priority while still wanting to be based near the coast, then consider booking the accommodation in the low-key neighbourhood of Torrione. This residential area right along the Gulf offers a nice blend of beach proximity and cheaper rates compared to the more touristy districts.

One of the major perks here is having the city’s main public beach, Lido Torrione, just steps from many accommodations. You can easily spend your day there without dealing with crowds at the more famous spots along the Amalfi Coast, although it won’t be as scenic. Plenty of affordable beach clubs, bars, and casual restaurants line the promenade too.

Speaking of value, Torrione is one of Salerno’s most budget-friendly areas for mid-range and basic hotels and apartments – especially those set a couple blocks back from the waterfront. You’ll likely find lower rates with more space compared to the historic centre, along with an easier time finding parking if you have a rental car.

Torrione itself feels very local and residential, without much in the way of charming aperitivo places or historical sights.

The area’s biggest downside is the lack of proximity to Salerno’s major tourist sights back in the centro storico area. It’s about a 20-25 minute walk to the ferry and train station, which can be quite demanding if travelling in the heat of July and August, especially with kids.

Here are 2 great accommodations in Torrione

B&B Orchidea ($-$$): Great location with easy access to the beach. Private parking and free WiFi. Exceptional breakfast.

Blue Sea Salerno ($-$$): Newly refurbished with spacious rooms and modern conveniences, including a big kitchen. Great sea views.

The Gulf of Salerno
The Gulf of Salerno
Stefano Ferro - MEL365.com Founder and Editor

About the Author

Stefano is a seasoned travel expert and the visionary founder of MEL365.com, a leading travel website with traffic across 6 continents. With a rich background in the travel industry, Stefano spent four pivotal years at Amadeus Travel Distribution System, gaining invaluable insights into travel technologies and distribution.

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