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How to Visit the Pompeii Ruins

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This post is a detailed overview of how to visit the ruins of Pompeii, including transportation, tickets, and tours.

We also provide information about day trips you can take from Rome.

Let's dig in!

WHERE IS POMPEII?

Pompeii, the ruins, lies in southern Italy’s Campania region, on the west coast. 

It’s roughly 241 km (150 miles) south of Rome, 24 km (15 miles) south of Naples, and 27 km (17 miles) north of Sorrento. 

Taking the Train

There are two trains running from Naples to Pompeii, and two from Sorrento to Pompeii.

Map of train to Pompeii

From Naples to Pompeii

The first option leaving Naples is the Circumvesuviana “slow train”, one that leaves from Porta Nolana Station and runs through towns along the Gulf of Naples, hugging the base of Mt. Vesuvius, and on to Sorrento. 

This tired little train tends to be full of locals, tourists, and at times pickpockets. 

You’ll want to get on at the second stop, Napoli Piazza Garibaldi, found within the Napoli Centrale Train Station.  

Naples train station.
Napoli Piazza Garibaldi platform

After purchasing tickets (€3.80/$4.00 pp one-way) for the Pompei Scavi-Villa Misteri station, not to be confused with the Pompei station, you’ll head to the platform. 

Look at the arrivals/departure info for “Sorrento”, the final destination on this line. You’ll be taking the blue line.

Trains depart 2-3 times an hour. 

Once on the train, it's a 35-40 minute trip to the Pompeii Scavi-Villa Misteri station, with multiple stops along the way, ending just a few minutes walk from the entrance to the Pompeii ruins.

Pompeii Scavi-Villa Misteri train station

The Circumvesuviana Naples to Pompei Scavi-Villa Misteri timetables can be found here.

The second way to get to Pompeii is by taking another train, this time on the Metropolitan line rather than the Circumvesuviana line (also leaving from the Napoli Piazza Garibaldi station). 

While this train is the slightly faster of the two trains (36 min), and slightly cheaper (€2.80 pp), it leaves you the “Pompei” station, which is a ten minutes walk from the entrance to the ruins of Pompeii.

Pompei Train Station
Photo courtesy of Italiarail

The Metropolitan line from Napoli Piazza Garibaldi to Pompeii timetable can be found here.


POMPEII ENTRANCE TICKET PRICES

All visitors should be aware that there is an entrance fee for the archaeological site where the town of Pompeii was once located.

UNESCO has provided a lot of wonderful exhibits in the area and it costs a bit of money to keep everything in good condition.

  • Ticket Prices: €16 for Adults | €2 for EU visitors (18-24)
  • Visitors under 18 can enter for free
  • Entrance is free on every first Sunday of the month
  • Nov – Mar Availability: Daily from 9 am – 3:30 pm
  • Apr – Oct Availability: Daily from 9 am – 6 pm
  • Visit the official website for more information or for tickets.

Skip-the-Queue Tickets

For an additional €6/adult, you can pre-purchase tickets that will allow you to skip the ticket queue, which could get very long during tourist high season, especially around midday. 

Click here for more details.

TIP: Although a skip-the-queue ticket can be handy when there are long lines, you shouldn't need it in the low season.


GUIDED TOURS OF POMPEII

Even though several companies provide tours in addition to their transportation services, customers should not expect this from every day-trip to Pompeii.

We list a few options below, but there are many more options to choose from.

The easiest (and potentially most affordable) way to experience a guided tour of this historic site is by choosing a combo pass that includes the service.

However, you can also choose to take a separate tour after arriving in Naples.

If you plan on using either a train or a car to reach this destination, consider one of the following tour options, including a free audio tour.

For more information about visiting this historic location on your own, please read our post about taking the train to Pompeii from Rome and Naples.

The historic ruins of Pompeii. Image Source: Wikimedia user Jebulon on July 21st, 2015.

The Best of Pompeii Tour

Over the course of 2 ½ hours, you will learn all about what life was like for citizens of Pompeii before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

See the real traces and shapes of inhabitants as you walk around the area.

In addition to the tour, you’ll also receive free entry into the archaeological site.

This is a great option for anyone who chose to save some time and take the train.

The commentary is available in English.

This tour has an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars (read reviews here).

  • Ticket Prices: €60.50 for Adults | €50 for Children
  • Availability: 6 days a week, either 10:00 AM or 2:45 PM depending on the day
  • Duration: 2 ½ hours
  • Free Skip-the-Line entry to Pompeii
  • Click here for more information.

Skip-the-Line Pompeii Walking Tour

If you don’t have much time to see the landmark and you’re trying to save some money, this might be your best bet.

You can also expect your ticket price to include the entrance fees for the archaeological site.

The commentary is provided in English. This tour has an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars (read reviews here).

  • Ticket Prices: €44 for Adults | €15.50 for Teens | Children are free.
  • Availability: either 3-6 days a week, either 10:00 AM or 2:45 PM depending on the day
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Free Skip-the-Line entry to Pompeii
  • Click here for more information.

Rick Steve’s Pompeii Audio Tour

If you’re looking for a more affordable option, you might want to consider the audio tour provided by Rick Steve’s Europe.

All you have to do is download the audio file onto your smartphone and listen to the tour while walking around Pompeii.


TOURS OF POMPEII FROM ROME

This section provides details about tours of Pompeii which include transportation from Rome.

In addition to shuttle services, there are also tour companies offering guided tours of the area.

Be sure to also check out our post on visiting Pompeii from Rome for do-it-youself options.


Pompeii Shuttle From Rome

If you’d rather enjoy a drive down to this ancient town, you can always take a shuttle bus instead.

Although they aren’t as quick as the trains, some passengers might find the bus more comfortable and easier to use.

This is also an excellent alternative if tickets sell out for some of the other transportation options on our list.

The shuttle services from Rome to Pompeii typically include round-trip. Some companies also include a free guided tour of the lost city.

Via dell'Abbondanza, the main road in Pompeii. Image Source: Wikimedia user Mentnafunangann on March 18th 2009.

The only issue with this option is that you can expect travel times of up to 3 ½ hours both ways.

If you want to take a shuttle bus, plan to set aside an entire day for your trip.

  • Ticket Prices: €70.50 for Adults | €61 for Teens | €40 for Children
  • Availability: Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from March – October
  • Duration: 12 hours (6-7 hours of travel time)
  • 2-hour guided tour included for free
  • Request an English tour guide for an additional fee.
  • Plenty of time to explore on your own
  • Click here for more information.

Ratings for this service are very good with an average score of 4 out of 5 stars (read reviews here).

Several customers were impressed with the bus, describing it as both comfortable and relaxing.

Guests were also very happy with the amount of information provided by their helpful and friendly tour guide.

TIP: Tickets that include an English speaking tour guide can run you over €80 per person.

If you’d rather have more control over your trip to Pompeii, we recommend choosing a different option.


Half-Day Express Tour of Pompeii

This service provides high-speed train tickets to and from Rome, admission into Pompeii, and a 2-hour guided tour of the area.

Train from Rome to Pompeii

Guests will enjoy live commentary from a local guide who speaks English. A fair amount of walking is required for the tour.

If you’re not interested in spending a full day at the archaeological site, this is probably one of the quickest options for visiting Pompeii and making it back to Rome with enough time to enjoy an evening in the city.

  • Ticket Prices: €199 for Adults | €189 for Children
  • Availability: Tue, Thu & Fri from Apr-Oct at 7:15 am
  • Duration: 7 hours
  • The tour group has a maximum of 25 people
  • Wheelchairs, strollers, and baby carriages are not accommodated
  • Click here for more details.

COMBINED TICKETS POMPEII/MOUNT VESUVIUS/AMALFI COAST

The following section covers Pompeii tours from Rome which include additional activities, including stops at locations such as the Amalfi Coast and Mount Vesuvius.

Take Walks

This company offers a few different day trips from Rome, including an outing which will take you to Pompeii.

This excursion includes a guided tour through the ancient city and a stop at the town of Positano.

As if that weren’t good enough, you’ll also get the chance to see the Amalfi Coast while traveling from Rome to Pompeii!

  • €193/Adults | €172/Kids
  • Duration: 13 hours
  • Availability: Daily
  • Includes skip-the-line tickets to Pompeii.
  • Includes transportation to and from Pompeii.
  • Purchase tickets or learn more here.

Pompeii & Vesuvius Tour

If you want to explore both Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius, this may be your best bet.

In addition to skip-the-line admission to both sites, you’ll also enjoy round-trip transportation to and from the meeting point.

This outing will take a total of 8 hours to complete, giving guests plenty of time at both sites.

The commentary is provided in English, Spanish, French, and Italian.

This tour has an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars (read reviews here).

  • Ticket Prices: €102.50 for Adults | €86 for Children
  • Availability: Daily at 10:00 am
  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Entrance fees are included
  • Transportation to/from Naples meeting point included
  • Pizza lunch and drink included
  • Click here for more information.

Pompeii & Amalfi Coast Tour

Travelers who want to experience both Pompeii and the nearby Amalfi Coast should consider this full-day tour.

Your first stop will be at the archaeological site and then you’ll head down to the coast and enjoy a lunchtime stop at the resort town of Positano.

Amalfi Coast

While here, visitors can enjoy incredible views of Sorrento, the Sorrentine Peninsula, and the Tyrrhenian Sea.

This tour has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars (read reviews here).

  • Ticket Prices: €173 for Adults | €163 for Children
  • Availability: Daily starting at 7:15 AM
  • Duration: 13 hours
  • Entrance to Pompeii included
  • Lunch is not included
  • Transportation via Minibus
  • Click here for additional details.

About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: July 22nd, 2022
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