Experience ancient history just 30 minutes from Naples
Naples, the capital city of Campania, really has it all. Delicious pizza, crystal blue waters, superb opera, and a rich history to boot–Naples is truly the city where authentic Italian cuisine and culture meet. While Italy’s capital, Rome, might be better known for its ancient archeological sites, Naples’ close proximity to Pompeii, one of the most famous examples of Roman ruins in the world, makes it a top contender for history buffs.
Did you know that this iconic site is only 30 minutes away from Naples? You can easily experience incredible history in the morning and be back in time for a Neapolitan pizza crawl at night. This sounds like our kind of day trip.
Pompeii is one of the most well-preserved ancient ruins accessible to the public in the world. Once a bustling ancient Roman city of around 12,000 residents, Pompeii was destroyed and covered in volcanic ash (along with its neighbors Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata) by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius on August 24th, 79 CE. The city remained buried for centuries and wasn’t rediscovered until the late 16th century by architect Domenico Fontana. Although some of the city had crumbled due to weathering and looting over the years, the light weight of the volcanic ash allowed for city buildings, artwork, and even the bodies of residents to be fully preserved in that moment in time some two millennia ago. In 1997, the areas surrounding Mount Vesuvius were declared UNESCO World Heritage sites due to their immaculate preservation and cultural significance.
Today, when you visit Pompeii, you have the opportunity to take a step back in time. Walk the original cobblestone streets or tour an ancient Roman domus (Latin for house) to see some of the best preserved mosaics and frescoes in Italy. You’ll feel like you’re truly living history.
Hours of Operation:
April 1 to October 31: Every day from 9am-7pm (last entrance at 5:30pm).
November 1 to March 31: Every day from 9am-5pm (last entrance at 3:30pm).
Sites not to be missed include:
- Pompeii’s Forum: The center of daily life for residents of Pompeii, full of iconic temples and buildings
- The Amphitheater: The oldest known amphitheaters in the ancient Roman world!
- Villa Dei Misteri: Home to some amazingly preserved frescoes that still puzzle archeologists to this day
- House of the Tragic Poet: Includes the famous “Cave Canem” (Beware the Dog!) mosaic
- House of the Faun: The largest and most expensive of the houses in Pompeii
- House of Venus in the Shell: Home to a truly incredible fresco of the goddess Venus
- The Stabian Baths: An extremely well-preserved example of an ancient Roman bath house
Want to see more? Many original frescoes, mosaics, and statues found at Pompeii are on display in the Naples Archeological Museum.
How to Get to Pompeii from Naples
The historic site of Pompeii is easily accessible from Naples via public transportation, making it a simple day trip option. Whether you travel by car, train, or bus, your trip to Pompeii is sure to be easy and unforgettable.
If you’ve rented a car, Pompeii is only a 40-minute drive from Naples. There is lots of paid parking at the ruins in lots that charge between €10-20 for the day. Many restaurants in the area will also allow you to park for free if you eat there.
The quickest and easiest way to get from Pompeii to Naples is by the Circumvesuviana train. This train line runs from Naples to Sorrento with stops at both Herculaneum and Pompeii along the way. Catch the Circumvesuviana in Naples from the Napoli Garibaldi Station, and get off 30 minutes later at the Pompei Scavi–Villa dei Misteri stop. Trains run 2-3 times an hour, and tickets cost around €4 and can be purchased either at the railway station or you can use your credit card to tap&go. Be aware that the Circumvesuviana train is more like riding a subway than a regional train; it can be crowded, lack air conditioning, and experience delays, so plan accordingly.
Another option to reach Pompeii from Naples is on the SITA bus that runs between Naples and Salerno. Bus tickets cost about €4 and can be purchased in Naples at the SITA office at Piazzale Immacolatella Vecchia, where the bus departs. About 35-40 minutes later, you’ll get off at the Pompeii Scavi stop. The bus schedule varies by day and can be found here.
Tickets and Tours
We recommend buying tickets to Pompeii’s archeological site before your visit. The least expensive option is to purchase timed tickets on Pompeii’s official website (€19 per person)–be aware that you’ll likely still have to wait in a line before entry and you’ll have to commit to your arrival time in advance. Another option is to purchase tickets on Get Your Guide. These tend to be a little bit more expensive (starting at $28 per person), but you’ll be able to skip the lines and cancel your ticket for a full refund up to 24 hours before your visit, something that can be helpful if plans change. Get Your Guide also offers an audio guide option if you’d like to tour Pompeii on your own, as well as a variety of guided tours. Choose from small groups to private tours led by archeologists and other experts in their field. For those who love to learn, booking a tour can be the best way to ensure no stone is left unturned.
When to Visit
Pompeii is most comfortable to visit during cooler months of the year. As it is an archeological site, there is very little vegetation–and therefore not very much shade from the southern Italian sun. If you’re planning on going to Pompeii in the summer, get tickets for the early morning or close to the last entrance to avoid the worst of the midday sun. No matter the time of year you choose, be sure to wear comfortable shoes. The roads are paved with ancient, uneven cobblestones, and the right foot support will go a long way.