Take one look at Capri and it’s easy to see why emperors Tiberius and Augustus declared the island to be their favorite idyllic retreat. Not much has changed in the centuries that have passed since then. Today, Capri continues to attract travelers from all over the world, keen to see if the Italian island really is as beautiful as they say. (Hint: it’s not – it’s even more stunning!)
Capri is surprisingly tiny, measuring just 3.7 miles long and 1.2 miles wide. But despite its small size, you’ll never be stuck for what to do in Capri. Whether you want to spend your days lounging on golden beaches, digging into the local cuisine, exploring ancient palaces, or hiking to dazzling viewpoints, you’ll have an excellent time here.
You can’t fly into Capri – the only way to get there is by sea. You can hop on the many ferries and hydrofoils that connect the island with Sorrento and Naples and arrive in the idyllic vacation destination in no time at all.
With so many things to see and do, you might not know where to begin. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the absolute best things to do in Capri. Add these activities and attractions to your Capri bucket list, and you’re sure to have an incredible time exploring one of the most beautiful places in the world!
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15 Fun and Unique Things to do in Capri, Italy
1. Admire the View from the Highest Point in Capri
For the best sights in Capri, you’ll need to reach the summit of Monte Solaro. From all the way up here, not only can you see across Capri, but you can even see over to the Bay of Naples, the Amalfi Peninsula, and sometimes as far as the mountains of Calabria on a clear day!
To reach this lofty point you need to head to Piazza Vittoria in Anacapri. Then it’s a 12-minute chairlift ride up the hill, followed by a 60-minute walk to reach the top of the mountain. The walk is pretty tough going, so you need to have decent shoes and a medium fitness level. But it’s more than worth it for the chance to see such a stunning view laid out before you.
On the way up, you’ll pass the 16th-century monastery of Cetrella. Although it’s not often open, it’s beautiful to see from the outside.
2. See the Spot Where the Sirens Lured Ulysses
Head to the coast for one of the most fascinating things to see in Capri. This stunning spot close to the famous Faraglioni rock formations is where the Sirens were said to lure Ulysses.
If you’re not familiar with the story, it’s part of Homer’s The Odyssey. He wrote that Ulysses was incapable of stopping even his strongest men from listening to the sweet song of the Sirens and sailing to their deaths, so he ordered them to fill their ears with wax so they couldn’t hear the song. However, he wanted to hear their voices and strapped himself to the ship so he could listen and live to tell the tale.
While you may not hear the sweet songs of mythical Sirens, you can still take a walk around and admire the view. The Faraglioni rocks are fondly known as the Monster’s Teeth, as they look like huge incisors rising out of the ocean.
3. Wander around Marina Grande
When you’re looking for relaxing things to do in Capri, take a trip to Marina Grande. The main port on the island, Marina Grande is located at the foot of Mount Solario in Capri Town and is where most boats arrive from the mainland. You probably already passed through it when you arrived, but you’ll get a completely different experience when you take the time to have a look around.
Much more than a simple marina, Marina Grande is a small residential neighborhood with multi-colored houses and a dramatic mountain backdrop. Decades ago, it was nothing more than a tiny fishing village, and although it’s certainly transformed since then, you still get a feel of its quiet, charming past wherever you are. In fact, as you walk along the small beach, you’ll see loads of small wooden boats that are still used for fishing today.
As well as the beach, Marina Grande is known for its excellent fish and seafood restaurants, small boutiques that sell handmade souvenirs, and beautiful viewpoints you don’t want to miss.
4. Check Out the Ancient Ruins at Villa di Tiberio
You’ll find one of the best Capri attractions hidden away in the far northeastern part of the island. This area is home to the well-preserved remains of the Villa di Tiberio (also known as Villa Jovis), one of the most spectacular and grandiose villas owned by Emperor Tiberius.
The ruins cover a staggering amount of land, giving you a good idea of how vast the extravagant complex was. Experts believe he lived there in luxury between 27 AD and 37 AD when he died. Because the villa was built on a slope, it’s divided into multiple layers and levels covering almost 0.5 acres.
Make sure you follow the Salto di Tiberio road to the end, where you’ll find a 900-foot cliff. This is where Emperor Tiberius was said to have tossed servants and guests who displeased him into the ocean down below.
5. Keep it Simple with Ravioli Capresi
Although the island is well-known for its seafood, ravioli capresi is the most popular dish among locals as well as visitors. This simple appetizer is made by combining equal parts water and flour to make a particularly light pasta. The pasta is then stuffed with a moreish filling made of parmesan, aged caciotta cheese, and marjoram.
After the ravioli is stuffed with its cheesy filling, it’s tossed in a delicious sauce made of fresh tomato and basil. Despite its simplicity, the dish tastes incredible, and it is the perfect way to start a meal. Because it’s so popular, you’ll find it available in practically every local restaurant throughout Capri.
La Capannina dishes up some of the finest ravioli capresi on the island. This restaurant has a very old-school vibe and has been serving generous portions of handmade pasta since 1931. Here the ravioli appetizer is served with the rich sauce in the middle of the plate, so you can coat the ravioli with as much or as little as you like.
6. Be Mesmerized by the Blue Grotto
Visiting the Blue Grotto is definitely one of the most unique things to do in Capri. This natural attraction is a huge flooded cave that opens out into the sea. When the sun shines at just the right angle, it looks like the grotto is illuminated from the inside. It has the most spectacular bright blue glow unlike anything you’ve ever seen before!
You can only enter the grotto on a boat, and you’ll instantly be able to spot the entrance when you get close. You’ll see a bunch of small boats waiting for their turn to sail through a narrow opening that’s barely 3 feet high. The entrance is impossible to sail through in rough weather, so check the forecast and make sure no wind or waves are predicted on the day you’re planning to go.
While the Blue Grotto is widely believed to be the best, there are other caves in the area that share a similar phenomenon. Opposite you’ll find the Green Grotto, which is a little smaller and rarely crowded.
7. Celebrate Capri’s Patron Saint with the Feast Day of San Costanzo
If you’re planning on visiting the island in spring, you’ll be glad to hear that one of the best Capri activities takes place in May. Each year on the 14th of the month, people all across the island get together to celebrate San Costanzo, Capri’s patron saint.
The highlight of the event is the procession, in which locals gather together wearing traditional religious clothes and carry a statue of San Costanzo from the center of town into Marina Grande. It’s quite a solemn parade with an eerie atmosphere.
The parade starts in the island’s main square (the Piazzetta) at the Church of Santo Stefano and winds its way along Capri’s biggest streets until it arrives at the marina. The best place to watch it from is right at the end, where the statue is taken down and kept at the church for a week following the procession.
After the main parade, celebrations take on a much more lighthearted feel, with music, parties, and fireworks.
8. Snap Photos of the Arco Naturale
For one of the best Capri sightseeing opportunities, take a trip to Arco Naturale. This natural rock formation dates back to the Paleolithic era (also known as the Stone Age) and makes for some fantastic photos. When the sky is clear of clouds, the color of the sea looks spectacular through the rocky arch, which almost acts like a natural frame, showing off the mesmerizing blue and green hues.
Arco Naturale stands at an impressive 59 feet tall and 40 feet wide. It’s made from limestone, which gives it a dramatic dark gray color that really makes the blue of the ocean pop. It looks completely different depending on where you’re standing. So it’s worth moving around a bit until you take the perfect shot.
No one knows for sure exactly how Arco Naturale came to be. But most scientists believe that the arch is actually all that remains of a grotto that has since collapsed.
9. Explore the Giardini di Augusto
If you’re a fan of nature, you’ll find one of the top things to do in Capri inside Giardini di Augusto. This gorgeous garden is located close to San Giacomo and overlooks Marina Grande on one side and the Faraglioni sea rocks on the other, making it a great place to visit for dazzling views.
Tear your gaze away from the mesmerizing panoramas, and you’ll discover that the botanical garden is just as beautiful. It’s wonderfully maintained and features lush grass, intricate mosaic benches, colorful flowerbeds, shady trees, and countless statues dotted throughout. It’s a fantastic place to go when you want to get out but don’t want to do anything too energetic.
There are loads of short paths you can follow throughout the garden. Or if you do fancy something a little challenging, search for the trail that leads to Marina Piccola. It winds 300 feet down in hairpin bends that are much easier to walk along than drive along! Don’t worry about having to walk back up – you can catch a bus from the marina that will take you back to the top.
10. Get Stuck into L’impepata di Cozze
Get excited every time you find seafood on a restaurant menu? Then one of the best things to do in Capri is to treat yourself to l’impepata di cozze. This tempting dish is made up of fresh mussels, which are steamed until they’re perfectly cooked, seasoned with freshly-cracked black pepper, and served while hot with lemon wedges for squeezing.
This classic dish usually kicks off a special Sunday lunch on the island and is placed in the middle of the table for everyone to enjoy. The traditional version is very simple and only flavored with black pepper. But today, restaurants create their own variations, often drizzling the mussels with extra virgin olive oil or even covering them with a rich meat sauce.
Make reservations at Ristorante Pulalli. This is where you’ll find some of the finest l’impepata di cozze in all of Capri. All the food is so amazing here that the restaurant can get fully booked weeks in advance! The presentation is absolutely superb, and the views from the outside terrace are fantastic.
11. Surround Yourself with the Buzz at Piazza Umberto I
Hanging out at Piazza Umberto I is one of the must-do things in Capri. More commonly known as the Piazetta, this square is one of the liveliest places on the island. It’s located just under the clock tower, where the cable car drops people off at Mariana Grande.
No matter when you visit, this square always has a dynamic, lively atmosphere. From first thing in the morning until last thing at night, it’s buzzing with people sipping coffee at cafes, indulging in fresh seafood for lunch, and choosing their favorite from the cocktail menu in the evening. Not only is the Piazetta a great place to indulge your taste buds, but it’s also a fantastic spot for shopping.
The streets that lead off the Piazetta are where you’ll find the best boutiques on the island. Via Camerelle is a particular favorite, home to loads of big-name designer stalls. If that’s not quite your thing, you’ll find plenty of places selling locally-made perfumes, flowers, souvenirs, and hand-painted pottery in the square.
12. Fall in Love with Villa San Michele
Spending a morning at Villa San Michele is one of the things to do in Capri that you’ve absolutely got to add to your vacation bucket list. This grandiose residence was originally home of the Swedish doctor Axel Munthe, and is every bit as elegant and glamorous as it was when it was first created.
What makes the villa extra special is that the building and the surrounding gardens are brimming with the doctor’s personal collections. Take a look around, and you’ll find all kinds of priceless archaeological artifacts, from phenomenal 20th-century art to ancient Etruscan, Egyptian, and Roman antiquities.
Villa San Michele is also home to temporary exhibitions that change regularly throughout the year. So even if you’ve been before, it’s always worth another visit to see what’s new.
If you’re not particularly into art or ancient artifacts, Villa San Michele is still worth visiting. The coastal views from the gardens are truly breathtaking.
13. Get Involved with Capri’s Heritage at the Festival Internazionale del Folklore
One of the most fun things to do in Capri in summer is to join in with the Festival Internazionale del Folklore. Known in English as the International Folklore Festival, this annual event is attended by people from all over Italy who come to the island to celebrate Capri’s fascinating culture and heritage.
The festival takes place throughout various streets across the island, with music concerts, theatrical performances, and dance recitals that aim to help you gain a greater understanding of what makes Capri the magical place it is today. So you never have to leave to recharge, you’ll also find pop-up food kiosks all over the place selling traditional food and drinks.
Locals really get into the spirit of the festival, and it’s common to see people dressed in the type of clothing locals wore hundreds of years ago. You’ll also see people making handicrafts and artisan goods like they did way back then, too.
The dates change every year for this festival, so make sure you check the official website before making any plans.
14. Follow the Sentiero dei Fortini Borbonici Trail
You need to get away from the island’s main tourist spots to discover one of the top Capri activities. Nestled in between the land and the ocean on the western shore, you’ll find the Sentiero dei Fortini Borbonici. This coastal path follows a route that connects some fascinating old fortresses between the Blue Grotto and the Punta Carena Lighthouse (Faro di Punta Carena).
As the trail makes its way along the irregular coastline, you’ll pass by three ancient forts that were built in the 19th century to defend the island’s western coast. Known as the Pino, Mesola, and Orrico forts, these strong buildings were originally built by the English and strengthened by the French, who took over Capri in 1808.
As well as the historic buildings, you’ll also have the chance to admire the vistas from some of the most impressive viewpoints in Capri along this route. The hike takes about 2 hours to complete, and there’s very little natural shade. So make sure you take plenty of sun protection and water with you.
15. Enjoy a Bottle of Falanghina del Sannio
When you need a break from all the cool things to do in Capri, stop by a bar or restaurant and order a bottle of Falanghina del Sannio. The island’s wonderfully light pasta and deliciously fresh seafood go beautifully with a crisp white wine. Don’t worry if you’re not feeling hungry – Falanghina del Sannio wine tastes just as good on its own as it does with food!
There are several different types of Falanghina del Sannio wine, all of which are white and made with grapes from the hilly area in northern Naples. In the unlikely event that you can’t find any, we suggest trying Lacrima Christi. This wine is very similar and comes from grapes harvested from the Vesuvius region.
There you have it! The 15 best things to do in Capri. What’s your favorite thing to do in Capri?
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