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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 (153)

Departure from: Naples

Sorrento, Positano and Pompeii - Day tour from Naples

from € 400 8 hour tour

Duration 8 hours

A full day on board a luxury sedan with an expert driver to explore the most famous spots along the Bay of Naples: Sorrento with its picturesque historic center, the ruins of Pompeii, and the most beloved town on the Amalfi Coast, Positano.
Duration: 8 hours

Excellent (306)

Departure from: Positano

Pompeii/Herculaneum/Archaeological Museum from Positano

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 (152)
Astarita Car Service - Private Tour from Positano to Pompeii with guide Most popular Verified

Departure from: Pompeii, Positano

Private Tour from Positano to Pompeii with guide

from € 415 rate for the vehicle

Duration 4 hours

Private tour from Positano to Pompeii with an authorized guide. An English speaking driver will pick you up and drive you on a Mercedes vehicle. Duration 5 hours

Excellent (548)
Sunland Travel - Pompeii & Herculaneum Group Tour from Positano Bestsellers Verified

Departure from: Positano

Pompeii & Herculaneum Group Tour from Positano

€ 73 per guest

Duration 8 hours

Archaeology buffs will love this group tour with stops at the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum!
The tour departs from Positano, and you will travel by professionally-driven coach to Pompeii to visit the ruins. After free time for lunch, the tour stops at the ruins of Herculaneum.

Departure from: Sorrento, Positano

Pompeii plus Wine and Food Tasting

from € 340 8 hour tour

Duration 8 hours

A tour that blends archaeology and cuisine, including a visit to the ruins of Pompeii, a winery stop to sample 15 different DOC regional wines, and a tasting of local specialties and Limoncello di Sorrento.
Duration: 8 hours
From Positano or Sorrento

Excellent (152)

Departure from: Sorrento, Positano

Wine Tasting Tour - Lacryma Christi

from € 485 up to 8 people

Duration 7 hours

Are you interested in learning about how the historic "Lacryma Christi" wine is produced? Our wine tour takes you to the vineyards where this wine is made, with a visit to the cellar and lunch with a choice between two menùs. After your tasting, the tour continues to Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Excellent (548)

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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