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How to Visit the Pompeii Ruins

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This post provides details about how to visit Pompeii from either Naples or Sorrento, including information about how to take the train, driving directions, and more.

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.


From Sorrento to Pompeii

If you’re coming from Sorrento, all you have to do is get tickets for the same Circumvesuviana train. The Pompeii stop is roughly 20-40 minutes from Sorrento, and the archaeological site is right across the street from the station.

As with tickets from Naples, you can expect them to cost €3.80/$4.00 pp one-way.

The Sorrento Station. Image Source: Pixabay.

You can purchase tickets from the Sorrento Station, the main public transport hub of the city. Many hotels offer shuttle buses to the station, so it should be pretty easy to get there if you have a hotel room.

Sorrento Terminus only accepts cash, so make sure you have money on hand to pay for tickets. Alternatively, you can usually buy tickets at tobacconists, newsagents, and even some bars as well.

For information about ticket fares in English, make sure to visit the newsagent at Sorrento Station.

The Circumvesuviana Train. Image Source: Pixabay.

You can find the timetable for the train from Sorrento to Pompeii here.


DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Whether you’re coming from Naples or Sorrento, driving to Pompeii should be pretty easy, and you can expect the journey to take about 30-50 minutes.

If you’re coming from Naples, you can take the A3/E45 the whole way. The journey is typically 30-40 minutes at most. Be aware that this route has tolls. Alternatively, you can also take the SR18 to get there and avoid tolls, but this route typically takes around 60-80 minutes.

Get driving directions from Naples to Pompeii.

Visitors traveling from Sorrento won’t have to worry about tolls, but the journey typically takes around 50-60 minutes. The easiest and fastest route is via SS145.

Get driving directions from Sorrento to Pompeii.


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: August 31st, 2022
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