How to Get There
By train – On the Circumvesuviana Napoli-Sorrento line it takes 30 to 40 minutes to get to Pompeii from either Naples or Sorrento. Click on the station where you want to get the train in this timetable. It should cost €1,80 to €3,20. Get off at “Pompei Scavi”. At the station, you can leave your bags for €1,50 (collect by 7:00PM in summer, 6:00PM October to February), or leave them for free at the ruins (pick up by 7:20PM). The entrance to Pompeii is about 50m away from the station and there’s a Tourist Information office further down the street. [If you get off at “Pompei Sanctuario,” (This station is no longer accessible – 2014) instead of “Pompei Scavi,” the walk through town is not very far; it’s tiring but worthwhile.] The train from Naples gets very busy at Napoli Garibaldi/Napoli Centrale and is generally standing room only. If you want a seat, get on the train where it starts at “Napoli Porta Nolana – Corco Garibaldi”, one stop before Napoli Centrale. Similarly the train back from “Pompei Scavi” is very busy. Get on it and change after one stop at “Torre Annunziata” where the much quieter Poggiomarino-to-Napoli line also operated by Circumvesuviana stops.
- Cheapest way to get here from Rome – take the special (2h21m) train from Termini (each way is 11.20 Euros) or the regular (1h10m) train (each way is 22 Euros, 29 for first class) to Naples. Beware: these prices increase significantly if you purchase within 24-36 hours prior to your date of travel to Naples, so buy ahead. After arriving in Naples, go down the escalator to the Circumvesuviana and buy a ticket to Pompeii Scavi (2.90 Euro). The service from Naples to Pompeii is notoriously terrible at abiding at following timetables. The general delay is around 20 minutes for every train, so take this into consideration when planning transfers.
- From Salerno you can take the local train service to Pompei. There is a lot of confusion about where the train stops and how long the walk is from the station. There is only one suitable station on the train line (it is different from the other train services mentioned above) and it is called “Pompei”. A ticket from Salerno costs €2.10 one way and the journey either takes 25 minutes (fast service) or 45 minutes (slow service). The Pompei train station is quite a long way from the main entrance to the historic site, but is only a ten minute walk (700 meters) from the Piazza Anfiteatro entrance (from the station walk 150 meter straight ahead until you see the church, turn right keeping the church on your right hand side into the Via Roma and walk this street for 600 meters to the entrance). Taxi drivers at the train station will offer to take you to the entrance for around €10.
By bus – SITA runs buses from Naples. The cost is the same as the train.
By boat – If you are on a cruise, you can set up an excursion to explore the ruins (bus transfer) and tickets and tour will be included. From the cruise boat a hydrofoil travels around the Bay of Naples to Capri, Sorrento and Pompeii (from Naples). A bus-shuttle will take you to the ruins.
Disability – Disabled travelers should aim for the entrance at the Piazza Anfiteatro, where an itinerary has been designed to meet the needs of visitors with reduced mobility (and of parents with strollers, too!). Beware of the main entrance at Porte Marina, for it has plenty of stairs.
This is a walking site only. There are a few bicycles for rent, but the surfaces make them rather impractical. Note that walking the old Roman stone roads can be quite exhausting, especially in the heat of summer with loads of fellow tourists about. Everyone will be walking on cobblestones and uneven ground. The temperature is between 32 and 35c in the summer. Make sure to take plenty of water and watch your step as the old roads have grooves in them where the carts ran. It is advisable to wear good footwear, sunscreen and hats. There is a lot to look at and it could take all day to see everything.
On buying your ticket you should receive a map of the site and a booklet listing the main attractions. However, these can be sometimes out of print or you may find that the only booklet available is in Italian. A map of the site is essential if you want to see a lot in as short a time as possible. Even with a map visiting Pompeii is a bit like a trip to a maze. Many of the roads, apparently open according to the map, turn out to be blocked off for excavations or repairs, or, as happened in 2010, because a building collapsed. You might think you are heading for the exit but then have to turn around and retrace your steps to find another route.
- Go by train to Naples, the birthplace of pizza. Some of the most highly rated pizzerias are just a few blocks from the train station.
- Visit the sister site of Herculaneum
- Head over to the underwater Archaeological Park of Baiae
- Take a trip to the Amalfi Coast
- Take a boat from Naples or Sorrento to the island of Capri
- Buses leave for Mt. Vesuvius from the site (8/day, every half hour 9:30-10:30 and every hour starting at 11:25, takes 1 hour)
The Roman Empire • Locations & Activities