Capri certainly isn’t one of the most budget-friendly destinations in Europe. But even if you’re not flush with extra travel cash, you can still enjoy a visit to this resort town on the Mediterranean – if you know the right places to go and the best things to see on a small budget. Beyond the high-end shopping, dining and hotels, Capri offers a wealth of history, magnificent vistas and varied outdoor activities, all for free or just a few euro.

    Without breaking the bank, you can have your own memories of this lush, ancient island that’s fascinated travellers for millennia – from the Romans to 19th-century artists to the tastemakers of today. Here are things to do in Capri on a small budget.


    Walk from Capri Town to Anacapri

    An hour-long but rewarding uphill stroll

    • Budget
    • Photo
    • Adventure

    Walking between Capri Town – the primary activity hub on the island – and Anacapri – an Italian township – is a must for budget travellers. Completely free, it gets the blood pumping at the start of a day of island exploration and comes with jaw-dropping views of both Capri and the marina as you make your way upward.

    Once in Anacapri, you’ll find an array of other free activities waiting for you, but try not to rush. Take in the scenery and be sure to snap some photos of your walk. It’s one you’ll want to remember.

    Location: 80071 Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy

    photo by Norbert Nagel (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Hike to the top of Mt. Solaro

    Take stunning pictures from Capri’s tallest point

    • Budget
    • Photo
    • Adventure

    For the best views on Capri, you’ll want to hike to the top of Monte Solaro (Mt. Solaro). The limestone mountain is the highest point on Capri and, from the top, you’ll be able to see not only the rest of the island but also further off to the Sorrento Peninsula, Gulf of Naples, Galli Islands and Gulf of Salerno.

    The hiking trail to the peak starts in Anacapri, at Piazza della Pace and, though it’s an uphill climb, the trail is well marked and clear, so most travellers won’t find it too challenging. If you don’t mind spending a few euros, you can take a chairlift to the top of the mountain for around 12 euros, round trip. Otherwise, the mountain and all its viewing areas are free to access.

    Location: 80071 Anacapri, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy


    photo by othree (CC BY 2.0) modified


    The Phoenician Steps

    Follow in the ancient footsteps of some of Capri’s first residents

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    • Photo
    • Adventure

    Scala Fenicia (The Phoenician Steps) are part of one of Capri’s most famous and most historic walks, but most travellers prefer taking the steps down from Anacapri, versus up. The nearly 1,000 stone steps connect Anacapri and Marina Grande and, while the steps were recently believed to be carved by the Phoenicians, now we know their creators were actually the Ancient Greeks.

    Follow in their footsteps and just be glad you’re a traveller and not part of the steps’ original purpose. They primarily served women from Anacapri fetching water from a spring at the bottom of the stairs, who would then have to climb all the way up again carrying that water on their heads, an everyday ritual necessary for ancient survival.

    Location: 80071 Anacapri NA, Italy


    The Natural Arch

    Created after millions of years of erosion

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    • Photo
    • Adventure

    Arco Naturale (The Natural Arch) sits on Capri’s eastern coast as a testament to the effects of time. A remnant of the Paleolithic Period, the Natural Arch was once not an arch at all, but part of a large cave system. Over the many, many years, the rest of the cave wore away, leaving this graceful, limestone arch as the only evidence of its existence.

    Nowadays, visitors and photographers flock to the Natural Arch to admire and capture its beauty, which blends in pristinely with the surrounding landscape. The arch is easy enough for most travellers to reach. It's just a short walk along the coast following Via Matermania.

    Location: Via Arco Naturale, 80073 Capri NA, Italy

    Phone: +39 081 838 6201


    photo by dr_tr (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Marina Piccola

    Sand, sun and… sirens

    • Budget
    • Families
    • Photo

    Legend tells of the waters off the beach in Marina Piccola being where the sirens in Homer’s Odyssey seduced Odysseus. Sirens or not, the beach will certainly seduce you with its beautiful views of the Faraglioni rock formations, renowned good weather (the beach’s position beneath the island’s hills and facing the south means warmer temperatures) and, of course, plenty of sand to stretch out and lounge in the sun.

    Many beaches in Capri are private and require you to pay for access, which also gets you a sun lounger. Even so, the 3 beaches in Marina Piccola are free and preferred by the locals.

    Location: 80076 Capri, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy


    photo by Vito Manzari (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Piazza Umberto I

    Capri’s most famous square

    • Budget
    • History
    • Photo

    The history, the people watching, the sounds, the smells – it all adds up to an experience that engages all 5 senses and truly explains why Piazza Umberto I was nicknamed ‘the little theatre of the world.’ For locals, the piazza is the social and business hub of Capri, while for travellers, it’s a desirable spot to soak up the local culture.

    Points of interest around the piazza include the church of Santo Stefano, dating back to the 1700s, as well as cafes, bars and markets. The central focus, however, is the clock tower, the Torre del Orologio, a Capri landmark that announces every quarter of the hour.

    Location: Via S. Francesco, 1, 80076 Capri NA, Italy


    photo by Cezar Suceveanu (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Le Botteghe Fish Market

    Each day, a popular fish market turns into a Mediterranean restaurant serving the freshest catches

    La Pescheria Le Botteghe (The La Botteghe Fish Market) on Via Le Botteghe and the Piazetta is part fish market, part restaurant. During the early morning hours, browse the wares for the freshest catches, but around lunch and dinner, pull up a chair and enjoy authentic, Mediterranean seafood and cuisine alongside a glass of Italian wine.

    The eatery is one of the more affordable dining options on Capri and you’ll certainly be at no loss for dinner options (so long as you like seafood, that is). Among the specials to try are fish burgers, fresh oysters and fried calamari with anchovies.

    Location: Via le Botteghe, 19, 80076 Capri NA, Italy

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 3 pm and from 7 pm to 11 pm

    Phone: +39 081 837 6942


    Walk the Via Krupp

    A spectacular Capri walking path with a sordid past

    • Budget
    • History
    • Photo

    Via Krupp, a twisting, turning, paved walking path that many travellers now take between Marina Piccola and the Gardens of Augustus, was originally built at the turn of the 20th century by a German industrialist who wanted an easier way to get between the marina and the hotel he owned, which you can still stay at today: the Grand Hotel Quisisana. Little did the locals know that the individual was also using the Via Krupp to more easily reach a grotto where he attended orgies.

    The Via Krupp isn’t connected with anything quite so scandalous today, but it’s still an excellent spot for photos and admiring the Capri cliffsides and cerulean waves below.

    Location: 80076 Capri NA, Italy


    Watch the sunset at Punta Carena Lighthouse

    Delightful seaside views, in any season

    • Food
    • Nightlife
    • Budget
    • Photo

    On Capri’s southwest coast, the Punta Carena Lighthouse, built in 1866, is the second tallest lighthouse in Italy, overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. In the winter, visitors to the lighthouse are treated to views of dramatic waves and movement off the coast, while in the summer, visitors enjoy the relaxed and tranquil atmosphere as they gaze out over the sea, the next land in sight being Sicily.

    In addition to serving spectacular views, the lighthouse also features a free beach and there’s a restaurant on-site, in case you want to treat yourself to a little dinner or an aperitif.

    Location: 80071 Anacapri Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy


    photo by Robert Powell (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Buy a UNICO Capri Pass

    Save on getting around the island quickly and conveniently

    • Budget

    Purchase a UNICO Capri Pass from just about any public transport ticket seller around the island. Just ask for the pass by name. The pass is a 1-day ticket good for a round-trip funicular ride and unlimited bus rides. The pass is under 10 euro and gives you access to convenient and efficient transport services, which can come in handy after you’ve walked some of the island’s most famous trails and you’re possibly feeling a bit shaky. Otherwise, if you do choose to take public transportation around the island versus walking everywhere (which is fairly doable, given the island’s small size) you’ll pay a few euros per bus or funicular ride per person.

    Holly Riddle | Contributing Writer

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