Pompeii is the most famous of the buried Roman cities, a must-visit place! But it is not the only one, the site of Herculaneum is also a Roman city buried by the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius that can be visited. We will see how to visit Pompeii, Herculaneum, Vesuvius, how long to plan, where to buy tickets and how to reach the ancient sites.
- Pompeii 🏛
- Herculaneum 🏠
- Vesuvius 🌋
- Time needed to visit ⌚️
- Tickets 🎟
- Going to Pompeii 🚞
- Getting to Herculaneum 🚌
- Climbing to Vesuvius 🚶♀️
- Where to stay in Pompeii 🛌
1. Visit Pompeii
Pompeii is the largest ancient site buried by Vesuvius. In the year 79, the volcano woke up and spat out a thick cloud of ash which covered the southern part of Vesuvius for several tens of kilometers. Ash covered Pompeii, Herculaneum and other ancient cities, to a height ranging from 3.5m to 5m. About 10,000 people lived in Pompeii. Learn more about Pompeii.
Today, you can freely visit the archaeological site of Pompeii. It is an impressive and fascinating place. Everyone who returns speaks of the spectacular atmosphere that reigns there.
2. Visit Herculaneum
Herculaneum is also a Roman city buried during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79. The city was smaller than Pompeii, about 5000 inhabitants. The archaeological site can also be visited freely, and it is closer to the center of Naples.
3. Going to Vesuvius
The famous Vesuvius, the one that spits ashes! You can climb Vesuvius and enjoy an exceptional view of the entire Bay of Naples and the Amalfi Coast.
4. How long to visit Pompeii, Herculaneum and Vesuvius? 2 hours each.
It takes about 2 hours to visit Pompeii, Herculaneum and Vesuvius. It is therefore possible to combine the 3 visits in the same day, provided that the transfers between the 3 sites are very well optimized. You can also take an all-day small-group tour, with lunch included, that will take you to all 3 sites. For example, this tour with audio guide.
5. Tickets to visit Pompeii, Herculaneum and Vesuvius
Pompeii. The ticket to access the archaeological area of Pompeii can be purchased on site. It is highly recommended to buy the skip-the-line ticket here in advance so as not to wait unnecessarily under the sun, as there is often a wait at the cash desk.
Heculaneum. The archaeological area of Herculaneum is smaller but better preserved than Pompeii: click here to buy skip-the-line tickets.
Mount Vesuvius. Access to the Vesuvius area is only accompanied by a guide. The visit is done every day, but may be closed if the weather conditions are unfavorable.
6. How to get to Pompeii
Pompeii is located in the urban area of Naples. It takes about 40 minutes to visit Pompeii from the center of Naples. It is possible to get there by public transport: bus or train.
Shuttle between Pompeii and Vesuvius. The EAV bus departs from Pompeii, in Piazza Anfiteatro, just outside and goes up to Vesuvius.
Excursion to Pompeii from Naples. There are excursions from the center of Naples. The advantage is that you don’t have to understand how public transport in Naples works, everything is organized in advance, it’s easier. Here you will find a tour with an English-speaking guide from Naples. It is also possible to combine the visit of Pompeii with the ascent to Vesuvius. The visits then also include lunch because the excursion lasts all day: more about a visit with an English-speaking guide from Naples.
Visit Pompeii from Rome. From Rome, it takes 3 hours to travel there and back. In the same way as from Naples, the visits are made all day, with a meal included: see an example.
If you are going to Rome, read our blog post: Best things to do in Rome.
7. How to get to Herculaneum
Herculaneum is close to the center of Naples. The archaeological area is located in the town center of Ercolano.
By train. You can get off at the Portici – Ercolano stop, then walk for about 20 minutes.
By train. There are several train lines that connect Naples and the region of the EAV company. Line 4, which can be taken in the city center, Piazza Garibaldi, allows you to go to the Ercolano – Scavi station. There is then a 5-minute walk to go to the archaeological area and visit Herculaneum.
The MAV, Virtual Archaeological Museum. It is located at the exit of the archaeological area, towards the station. Virtual museums are often quite average. And that is indeed the case here. If you want a slightly more interactive tour of Herculaneum, we recommend that you take a guided tour in English: example of a guided tour.
8. How to go to Vesuvius
As we have seen, entry to Vesuvius is only possible with a guide. We then find that the easiest way, if you only want to go to Vesuvius, is to take a tour from Naples, with an English-speaking guide. With most guided tours, one will also visit Pompeii, for example this small group tour.
From Herculaneum. You can pre-book a ticket here to go Vesuvius from Herculaneum.
9. Where to stay to enjoy Pompeii and Vesuvius
Direct view of the ruins. You can have breakfast while enjoying a direct view of the ruins of Pompeii at the Hotel Del Sole. It’s perfect to get in the mood before you start visiting Pompeii. You can of course see Mount Vesuvius in the distance.
Tree roof. The tree-lined roof of this hotel is a wonderful place to sip a cold drink while watching the sun set over Vesuvius. 200m from the entrance to the archaeological site is the Habita79 hotel.
If you are going to visit Pompeii and Vesuvius, check out our blog post on the best things to do in Naples: How to visit Naples.