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The Essential Guide for Visiting Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Mount Vesuvius

The essential guide for visiting Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Mount Vesuvius. Schedules, prices, skip-the-line tickets, guided tours, and itineraries.

Hours for Pompeii and Herculaneum


April through October: 9am - 7:30pm (last entry at 6pm)
November through March: 9am - 5pm (last entry at 3:30pm)
Closed: 1 January, 1 May, 25 December

Tickets can be purchased at the ticket offices at the entrance to each site or through the online ticket office. Do not purchase tours or tickets from street vendors who may approach you at the Circumvesuviana train station!

Prices


Pompeii daily ticket: Full price EUR 15; discounted EUR 9
Herculaneum daily ticket: Full price EUR 11; discounted EUR 5.50

Free entry: first Sunday of each month.
Ticket prices may vary during special exhibitions or events.

Discounted tickets

Entrance is free to all EU citizens under 18.
EU citizens under 24 have a special discount.

Luggage deposit

Next to the ticket office at the entrance, there is a free baggage check. Bags or backpacks larger than 30x30x15 cm cannot be brought into either Herculaneum or Pompeii.

Should I visit Pompeii or Herculaneum?

The biggest difference between Pompeii and Herculaneum is size: the ruins of Pompeii cover about 44 square hectaures, while Herculaneum covers just 4.

Pompeii was an important city and trade center, while Herculaneum was a small resort town without the large public buildings (forum, amphitheater, theaters, gym) found in Pompeii.

However, Herculaneum is in a much better state of preservation due to the deep layer of ash and dust that covered the site, filling the buildings without damaging them. Pompeii was heavily battered by falling rocks and hot air that knocked down upper floors of buildings and incinerated wood, both of which are still intact at Herculaneum.

All things considered, if you only have time to see one site, choose Pompeii. Herculaneum is a good alternative if you don't want to do too much walking or if the temperatures are particularly scorching, as it has more shade than Pompeii.

We do not recommend visiting Pompeii and Herculaneum in one day, as it is simply too tiring.

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The Ruins of Pompeii

Recommended because:
  • It's a unique example of a perfectly preserved Roman city with temples, theaters, homes, restaurants, and public buildings.
  • More sites open to the public and a greater variety of architectures to visit.
  • You can experience first-hand the majesty of a Roman forum, theater, and amphitheater.
Not recommended if:
  • You only have an hour or two, as it takes a significant amount of time and energy to visit.
  • It's a particularly hot day, as there is little shade.
Guide and map for visiting Pompeii
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The Ruins of Herculaneum

Recommended because:
  • It's a small town that was a resort destination in ancient times, and can be visited in less that two hours.
  • There are multi-story houses, wooden furnishing and decorations, and perfectly preserved mosaic and sculptures to admire.
Not recommended if:
  • You only have time to visit either Pompeii or Herculaneum; we do not recommend attempting both in one day.
  • You want to explore it all, as many of the houses and buildings are not open to the public.
Guide and map for visiting Herculaneum

Visiting the Crater on Mount Vesuvius

Combine a visit to the Mount Vesuvius National Park with Pompeii or Herculaneum!

Instead of attempting to see both Pompeii and Herculaneum in one day, we suggest a trip up to the crater at the peak of Mount Vesuvius either before or after visiting one of the nearby archaeological ruins. Wear sturdy shoes and clothes suitable for a short hike up the trail.

Guide to Visiting Mount Vesuvius

Getting from Pompeii to Mount Vesuvius

Autobus EAV: From Piazza Anfiteatro and the Circumvesuviana Pompei Villa dei Misteri station, you can take the local EAV bus to the highest bus lot on Mount Vesuvius, where you can purchase tickets to the park and join a guided mountain hike. Buses depart every 50 minutes and ride takes about 55 minutes; tickets can be purchased on board for EUR 2.70.


Busvia del Vesuvio (from March 2019): Buses depart from the Circumvesuviana Pompei Villa dei Misteri train station and take you to the entrance to the Mount Vesuvius National Park. Here, you change to a small eco 4x4 bus that takes you along the historic “Matrone” road up to Piazzale Superiore.
The trip continues on foot with a mountain guide up to the crater.
Departures hourly from 9am to 3pm. Tickets EUR 22 (bus + 4x4 bus + entrance to the Mount Vesuvius National Park).

Getting from Herculaneum to Mount Vesuvius

Autobus Vesuvio Express: This bus departs from the Circumvesuviana Ercolano station and arrives at 1,050 meters above sea level.
From here, you proceed on foot with a mountain guide (about a 20-minute walk).
Departures every 40 minutes from 9:30am.
Tickets: EUR 20 (bus + entrance to the Mount Vesuvius National Park)

Day trips and tours from Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast, and Naples

Choose from our selected and vetted tours. Book now to reserve your spot!

Show all (129)

Goldentours - Tour of Pompeii and Herculaneum Bestsellers Verified

Departure from: Sorrento

Tour of Pompeii and Herculaneum

€ 56 per guest

Duration 8 hours

  • You don't have to choose between Pompeii and Herculaneum
  • A full-day with an English-speaking guide
  • Transfers to and from your hotel
Very good (163)

Departure from: Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano

Pompeii + Sorrento by Sea

from € 750 per boat

Duration 8 hours

  • A boat tour plus Pompeii in a single day
  • Transfer by boat and car in complete comfort
  • Pick up and transfer
Excellent (264)
Sorrento Limo - Tour of Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius, and Herculaneum Most popular Verified

Departure from: Naples, Sorrento

Tour of Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius, and Herculaneum

from € 330

Duration 8 hours

Are you ready to discover the most unique archaeological sites and breathtaking landscapes in the world in a single tour? Sorrento Limo will take you from Sorrento to the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum and the crater of Mount Vesuvius during this unforgettable day tour!

Excellent (140)
Goldentours - Tour of Pompeii and Vesuvius Most popular Verified

Departure from: Sorrento

Tour of Pompeii and Vesuvius

€ 47 per guest

Duration 8 hours

  • Visit Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii in a single day
  • English-speaking guide all day
  • Direct transfer from your hotel
Very good (163)

Departure from: Port of Naples, Sorrento

Shore excursion: Sorrento, Positano and Pompeii

from € 350 8 hour excursion

Duration 8 hours

The perfect tour for travellers on a cruise who have just a short time to see Positano and the wonders of Sorrento and the Pompeii archaeological site.
Departure from the port of Naples or Salerno
Auto: Mercedes (sedan or minivan)
Duration: 8 hours
Bilingual driver

Excellent (154)
Top Excursion Sorrento - Pompeii, Herculaneum, Archaeological Museum Bestsellers Verified

Departure from: Positano

Pompeii, Herculaneum, Archaeological Museum

from € 349

Duration 8 hours

This private driving tour for archaeology aficionados departs from Positano with stops at the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum before finishing with a visit of the Archaeological Museum in Naples. You will be taken by luxury sedan driven by an expert bilingual driver.
Duration: 8 hours

Excellent (154)

Getting to Pompeii from Sorrento or Naples


The easiest way to reach the Pompeii ruins from Sorrento or Naples is via the Circumvesuviana train that runs between Sorrento and Naples.
The train leaves from Piazza Garibaldi in Naples from the underground platforms of the Napoli Centrale station. From the ground-level platforms where high-speed trains arrive and depart, follow the signs downstairs to platform 3 where trains to Pompeii depart. Note the displays that list the next departing train for Sorrento - Pompei so you don't end up in Sarno!

Getting to Pompeii and Herculaneum
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