How to reach Pompeii

By Simran

Pompeii is only 26 kilometers or 30 minutes from Naples, making it an ideal day trip destination. 

Starting your journey from Naples makes it most convenient from any other location. 

The Pompeii ruins attract 2.5 million visitors annually, making them one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations.

Naples and Pompeii are connected by buses and trains and visitors who want a more in-depth experience can join a tour. 

A visit to nearby Mount Vesuvius is an excellent addition to the trip for those who want a better understanding of what happened in Pompeii. 

But, whether you’re visiting for a few hours or a full day to one or more locations, here’s our list of how to reach Pompeii.

By Tour

To fully understand the history of Pompeii, you should visit a few areas besides the main ruins. 

Therefore, Pompeii and Vesuvius Group Tour is the perfect way to do just that. 

These three significant attractions are very close, but public transportation connections could be better, making it impossible to visit all three in a single day if traveling alone.

This eight-hour tour begins early in central Rome when an English-speaking driver in an air-conditioned vehicle picks you up. 

You will travel to the Pompeii Archaeological Park while listening to information about the sites you visit.

You will be given two hours to explore the ruins on your own.

After leaving the park, you’ll go to a coral workshop to see artisans creating various items using Greek-Roman traditional techniques.

The Parco Acheologico di Ercolano is your next stop, a smaller set of better-preserved ruins than Pompeii. 

In addition to many other ruins, the Herculaneum Park has two wholly preserved homes.

Here the murals and architecture retain all of their original features, and various household items like jewelry, decorations, and even food remains were discovered from the once covered mud and ash.

After spending two hours here, you’ll travel to Vesuvius National Park, where an active volcano still stands that ended Pompeii. 

Hike up the volcano to see several outdoor sculptures made of volcanic material, then take a breathtaking view of the Gulf of Naples.

If you only have a half-day to explore Pompeii, the three-hour Private Day Trip to Pompeii may be a better option. 

In this one-on-one tour, you’ll meet your guide at the Naples Train Station and travel to the Pompeii Archaeological Park, where you’ll skip the line and walk right into the ruins. 

After two hours, your guide will show you the best lunch spot in town.

Discover the ruins of Pompeii with the combination tickets – you’re in for a double dose of amazement and history!

By Train

Trains are an excellent way to travel from Naples to Pompeii. 

Though older commuter trains make several stops, can become crowded, and frequently lack air conditioning, they are quick and direct, requiring no transfers.

Trains to Pompeii leave Napoli Piazza Garibaldi Station every 30 minutes. 

Because seat reservations are not possible, you do not need to purchase a ticket in advance. 

When you arrive at the station, purchase your ticket for the next train. At the Napoli Centrale station, you can choose between two direct trains. 

You can take the Circumvesuviana train, which takes 35 minutes to get from Napole to Pompeii, or the Metropolitano train, which takes 38 minutes.

The Circumvesuviana train stops near the ruins and is slightly faster, but it gets very crowded – you may have to travel standing up – and lacks air conditioning.

The Metropolitano train station is about a 10-minute walk from the archeological park. 

Trains are slightly more comfortable and have air conditioning, which is essential in the summer.

Instead, go to Napoli Porta Nolana Station and get the Circumvesuviana – it’s right before the popular Garibaldi station, so there will be fewer tourists. 

The trains are less crowded if you get on here. This station is not served by the Metropolitano train.

Both trains take you to Pompei, a modern city built around the ruins of Pompeii (note the different spelling). 

If you’re taking the Metropolitano train, get off at Pompei Station or the Pompei Scavi/Villa dei Misteri stop if you’re taking the Circumvesuviana line.

You can walk to the ruins in a few minutes from here.

Trains run from 6 am to 10 pm, but Pompeii opens at 9 am, so taking an early train is pointless unless you plan on eating breakfast or simply walking around once you arrive.

By Bus

By Bus

The SITA local buses are the best option for a tight budget. 

They take the same amount of time as trains to get to Pompeii (around 35 to 40 minutes) and leave once or twice an hour, depending on the day of the week.

Long-distance bus companies like Flixbus cover this route as well. 

While they are more expensive, they provide more comfort, larger seats, legroom, and air-conditioned buses (a significant advantage in the scorching summers here).

Buses depart from the SITA bus station, a few steps from the Nuova Marina port; however, you must first visit the port to obtain bus tickets from the SITA office. 

Buses leave Naples as early as 7 am, with the last bus leaving Pompeii at 8 pm.

All buses stop at various stations near the ruins. 

If taking a SITA bus, get off at the Pompeii Scavi Sita Bus Stop. 

It’s only a short walk to the Pompeii ruins from here. 

If you want to go to Mount Vesuvius, the Pompei Scavi Circumvesuviana or Ercolano stations are the best places to catch a direct bus.

Note: Day tickets for public transportation in Italy provide 24 hours of unlimited travel on local buses, metro, and trains (but not high-speed trains) throughout the country. 

If you’re only taking public transportation between Naples and Pompeii, this isn’t worth it, but if you plan more day trips within those 24 hours, you could save a lot of money.

By car

Naples and Pompeii are only 28 kilometers apart (about a 30-minute drive). 

It’s also an effortless drive on A3 until you get to the Pompeii Ovest exit, which takes you straight to the site. 

Numerous large parking lots near the archeological site exist, so you don’t have to drive around looking for a spot, even during peak season.

Mount Vesuvius is roughly halfway between Naples and Pompeii, requiring a lengthy detour. 

If you choose Naples-Mount Vesuvius-Pompeii, the drive will take approximately 1 hour and 11 minutes (about 48 kilometers).

When you arrive at the park, there will be a parking area where you will easily find a space.

You will need to pay tolls along the route, so bring cash to pay or have your debit/credit card ready.

Also, remember that Southern Italy is known for its chaotic traffic and dangerous driving. 

Because this is a short route, you should have no problems, but be mindful of your surroundings as you drive.

If you are arriving from Rome

Day trips from Rome can also take you to Pompeii. 

Take a high-speed train from Rome Termini to Naples (Italo or Trenitalia), then to the underground Circumvesuviana station for a train to Pompeii. 

It takes about two hours to get there.

Having a tour guide who can point out the most significant sights is a much easier way to see a lot in a day because the ruins are so extensive – approximately 44 hectares have been excavated.

You can choose from the guided tours of Pompeii as they include the top attractions in Pompeii and is ideal for first-timers. 

Here are some of the best-guided tours of Pompeii to select from.

You will explore the historic streets, go to the Forum, the Amphitheatre, and the Baths, and discover what living in Pompeii was like.

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Featured Image: mbjjmusic on Unsplash

About the author

Simran is adventurous and loves exploring new places. She constantly looks for undiscovered gems in the most secluded of the places.