The easiest way to reach both Pompeii and Herculaneum is the Circumvesuviana train that runs between Naples and Sorrento. From the Circumvesuviana stations, you can easily walk to the ruins or catch a bus for the Mount Vesuvius National Park.
You can also arrive by car; there are parking areas and lots near the entrance to the ruins and the Vesuvius crater.
Getting to Pompeii and Herculaneum from Sorrento or Naples
The Circumvesuviana train departs from Naples and Sorrento and has stops near the archaeological parks in Pompeii and Herculaneum.
In Sorrento, the station is located in the center of town opposite Pizza Angelina Lauro and is the only train line between Sorrento and Naples, so you can't get on the wrong train! Trains depart about every 30 minutes and the trip to Pompeii takes about 30 minutes; for Herculaneum, the trip takes about 50 minutes.
You can take the same train from Naples for Pompeii and Herculaneum: trains depart from track 3 of the underground Circumvesuviana station beneath the Naples Central train station in Piazza Garibaldi. Check the display the indicates which train is departing and board the Sorrento - Pompei line, otherwise you may accidentally catch a train to Sarno rather than Pompeii!
Getting to the Ruins from the Circumvesuviana Station
If you are heading to the ruins at Herculaneum, exit the Ercolano Scavi station and walk along Via 4 Novembre for about 5 minutes to the entrance to the ruins.
Skip-the-line tickets to Herculaneum ruins
If you are headed to the ruins at Pompeii, the Porta Marina Superiore entrance is directly opposite the Pompei Scavi Villa dei Misteri station along the Circumvesuviana line, and the Porta Marina Inferiore (Piazza Esedra) entrance, where our recommended itinerary begins, is a few meters further down.
Getting to Pompeii and Herculaneum by Car
The highway A3 Pompei Ovest exit leads directly to the archaeological park entrance, and there are a number of parking lots near the entrances.
Getting to Herculaneum by car is a bit more complicated, as you have to navigate the traffic through the center of the modern town. Once near the entrance to the archaeological ruins, there are a number of parking lots.
Getting to Mount Vesuvius with Public Transportation
From the Circumvesuviana Pompei Villa dei Misteri station, take an EAV bus to the trail head on Mount Vesuvius, and proceed by foot to the crater rim. From the Circumbesuviana Ercolano station, take the Vesuvio Express shuttle.
Bus schedules Pompeii - Vesuvius
Visiting the Crater on Mount Vesuvius
Getting to Mount Vesuvius by Car
If you are arriving by car, follow the signs and park at the parking area along the provincial road, the highest elevation private vehicles are allowed to drive. Here you have to pay for parking (EUR 5) and can buy round trip tickets for the shuttles that take visitors from the parking area to the ticket office for the Mount Vesuvius National Park. You can also walk up, but we recommend taking the shuttle up the steep climb. From the ticket office, continue walking along the road for about 1 kilometer to the trail head for the crater.
Arriving from Rome
You can also visit Pompeii and Herculaneum on a day trip from Rome. From the Rome Termini station, take a high-speed train to Naples (Italo or Trenitalia) and then proceed to the underground Circumvesuviana station for a train to Pompeii. It takes about 2 hours to get there in total.
Arriving from Capri or the Amalfi Coast
From Capri, the easiest way to reach Pompeii is by taking the ferry to Sorrento and booking a tour or day trip with a private driver to Pompeii or taking the Circumvesuviana train. From the Amalfi Coast, you can join a tour from Amalfi or Positano, or book a private tour with a driver. If you want to take public transportation, you will have to take the Sita bus to Sorrento and then the train to Pompeii.