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Pompeii Day Trips from Rome

Almost 2000 years ago the lava from Vesuvius devastated the city of Pompeii and brought it to a standstill. Today it is possible to visit this ancient petrified Roman city. Here's how.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

14 min read

Pompeii Day Trips from Rome

Ruins of the city of Pompeii | © Andy Holmes

Pompeii is located in the centre of the Italian peninsula, very close to Naples. Its location could not be more perfect: to the north, the imposing volcano Vesuvius rises and, to the south, the mythical Amalfi Coast. The best way to visit is to join an organised tour from Rome, where you won't have to worry about anything but enjoying the route and the visit to this historic city petrified under the lava of Vesuvius.

The best option

Ancient Ruins of Pompeii Day Trip from Rome

All-inclusive tour to Rome from Pompeii

This tour is perfect if you want to visit Pompeii during your trip to Rome but don't want to spend a lot of effort (or budget) preparing for the visit. Everything is included so you don't have to worry about anything.

Duration: 13 hours

Visiting Pompeii is a journey back in time. The city of Ancient Rome is a must for anyone who wants to stroll through the remains of its streets and recreate how the ancient Romans lived. This tour starts in the centre of Rome, where you will board a private bus and head straight to the archaeological park of Pompeii.

Once there, you will take a guided tour of the city, where an expert guide will explain not only how the city was formed, but also how the inhabitants lived, their social customs in the Forum and their leisure time in the well-preserved Theatres and amphitheatre. You will see millenary mosaics and even some of Pompeii's inhabitants who unsuccessfully tried to escape from the lava and were petrified. A real open-air museum.

The tour also includes entrance fees and lunch in the price, so you don't have to worry about anything else. At the end of the day you will arrive back in Rome with the feeling of having travelled back in time.

Why I recommend this tour: It is the most comfortable and convenient option to travel to Pompeii from Rome with everything organised. Guided tour, lunch, transport and entrance fees are included in the price.


Why is it worth going to Pompeii from Rome?

Body petrified by the volcano| ©Unsplash
Body petrified by the volcano| ©Unsplash

Although Rome is an open-air museum and was the epicentre of Roman civilisation, it is worth going to Pompeii to find out how they lived. The layout of its streets, the structure of its dwellings, its places of worship and leisure... All this and more can be found in one of the most important archaeological parks in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

To make the most of your visit, book an excursion that allows you to take a guided tour of the archaeological complex. You can also combine your trip with other nearby destinations such as Naples, Vesuvius or the Amalfi Coast.

If you like history, architecture or art, don't hesitate to come here and soak up everything there is to see and learn about. From discovering what happened in Pompeii to admiring - from its ruins - the imposing Vesuvius, the volcano that changed everything. And if you're still not convinced, don't hesitate to check out my article on whether Pompeii is worth visiting from Rome.

Book your excursion to Pompeii

Interesting details about the excursions to Pompeii

Detail of the streets of Pompeii| ©Unsplash
Detail of the streets of Pompeii| ©Unsplash
  • Distance from Rome to Pompeii: 242 kilometres
  • Travel time: 2:30 hours by road, approx. 2:05 hours by train (one transfer).
  • Where do they depart from: some tours set a meeting point (such as Piazza del Popolo) and others pick you up from your hotel - don't forget to check this point depending on what is most convenient for you!
  • What time do they leave: around 7:30 am (it's a long tour, so it's worth getting up a little early).
  • How is the transport: these tours are done in a comfortable, air-conditioned bus.
  • What you'll find on this tour: you'll see one of the most impressive Roman ruins complexes in the world.

Book your excursion to Pompeii

But how much does it cost to visit Pompeii or take a trip to Pompeii from Rome?

Street of Pompeii| ©a rancid amoeba
Street of Pompeii| ©a rancid amoeba

Depending on the option you choose: an all-inclusive organised excursion to Pompeii from Rome costs just over €100 at Hellotickets. The price includes private transport, lunch, entrance fees and guided tour, all in one day.

If you prefer to organise the trip yourself, you'll need to buy tickets to Pompeii in advance, book a train or bus ticket and pay for your own food.

But if you're really worried about how to squeeze in a visit to Pompeii without breaking your budget, don't worry: I always recommend doing the maths before you go to see roughly how much a trip to the city of Vesuvius from Rome will cost you. In this article on how much it costs to visit Pompeii I help you work it out.

How to get to Pompeii from Rome?

Remains of paint| ©Craig Morey
Remains of paint| ©Craig Morey

If you are in Rome and you are planning to visit Pompeii, it is clear that joining an organised tour is the easiest and most comfortable option, but there are also other ways to get to Pompeii if you prefer to visit Pompeii on your own.

From the Italian capital, you have the option of travelling by train, by bus or even by car if you decide to hire your own vehicle for greater autonomy when visiting the country. Prices, journey times and how to get tickets are summarised in this article on how to get to Pompeii from Rome.

How long are the excursions to Pompeii from Rome?

Pedestrian crossing| ©Carol
Pedestrian crossing| ©Carol

To visit Pompeii from Rome you'll need a full day. The two cities are more than 200 kilometres apart and although the journey is not too tiring (the road views are beautiful) you will need to spend several hours in Pompeii to get the most out of the city.

On a guided tour from Rome you'll usually leave the centre of the capital early in the morning and return to the same point late in the afternoon, after having spent an incredible day visiting the city petrified by Vesuvius. In this article on the duration of tours and visits to Pompeii, I'll give you more details to help you with the organisation.

If you want to visit Pompeii on your own, the logistics become more complicated, as you will have to travel by public transport. In this case, a high-speed train, although more expensive, will help you to save time and make the most of your day in Pompeii.

An expert guide will undoubtedly help you visit and understand the essentials of the place without having to waste time wandering the streets at your own pace.

Can I visit Pompeii with children?

Group of tourists visiting the amphitheatre of Pompeii| ©NH53
Group of tourists visiting the amphitheatre of Pompeii| ©NH53

Of course it is, Pompeii is a great destination to visit with the whole family, and the youngest members of the family will love it. You'll spend a day outdoors touring palaces, temples and petrified theatres with Vesuvius in the background.

The important thing is that they go prepared with comfortable shoes (in fact this is essential for the whole family), protected from the sun and heat in summer and above all that they don't miss a snack or fresh water throughout the day.

If you also want to introduce them to history, you can always take the opportunity to tell them how volcanoes work and the history of Pompeii. Italy with children is always a good idea and Pompeii, of course, too. Here is a link to my article about visiting Pompeii with children so that you can take into account some recommendations.

What to see and do near Pompeii

Ruins of Pompeii| ©Unsplash
Ruins of Pompeii| ©Unsplash

Pompeii is in an enviable location: south of Rome, near Naples and its bay and close to Vesuvius. If you want to know what you can see and do near Pompeii, take note:

Look down into the crater of Vesuvius

During your visit to Pompeii it will become clear how important Vesuvius was in the history of this city. If you have the time and energy, a hike up to the crater is a great idea.

It will give you the best views of the trip, you will see Pompeii from the top and the whole area of the Bay of Naples. Besides, how many times have you had the crater of a volcano in front of you? Well, there's nothing better than a visit to one of the most famous volcanoes in the world for the first time.

There are some excursions to Pompeii that include it, but if you go on your own , don't hesitate to consider the option anyway. Here's how to climb Vesuvius, Pompeii's volcano.

Visit Naples

There are some excursions to Pompeii from Rome that include a stop in Naples. The itinerary is similar: you will see the ancient city of Pompeii with a professional guide and you will also stop in Naples.

These itineraries usually include a bus tour of Naples' must-see sights such as the Royal Palace, Piazza del Plebiscito... while listening to the stories of the city on an audio guide.

You can also stop for lunch, followed by a guided tour of the archaeological park of Pompeii, a UNESCO World Heritage Site - a real treat!

Book your excursion to Pompeii

When is the best time to visit Pompeii?

Ruins of Pompeii| ©Unsplash en primavera
Ruins of Pompeii| ©Unsplash en primavera

In Pompeii, the winters are long - from November to March - and the weather is cooler. However, summers last from June to August and the heat can be sweltering.

If there is a perfect time to visit Pompeii, it is spring, when temperatures are milder and tourism is less crowded.

August is the least advisable month for several reasons: there are more tourists (and therefore more queues), many restaurants close in Naples as it is their holiday month and the heat is scorching. You can read more about the best time to visit Pompeii here.

Book your excursion to Pompeii

What is the best day of the week to visit Pompeii?

Inside the ruins of Pompeii| ©Unsplash
Inside the ruins of Pompeii| ©Unsplash

The archaeological park opens every day of the week at 9:00 am (8:30 am on Saturdays). Closing times depend on the time of year: in winter they usually close at around 3.30pm, while in summer you can extend your visit until 6pm. In any case, we recommend you check the official website for updated opening times.

My advice is to arrive as soon as possible because you will be able to enjoy the complex in milder temperatures and with fewer crowds. In addition, we recommend you visit Pompeii from Monday to Friday, as weekends are when most tourists visit the ruins.

One last tip: if you go on your own and want to save on the entrance fee, make your visit coincide with the first Sunday of every month. It's free!

Book your excursion to Pompeii

Tips to make your excursion to Pompeii a great day out

Spectacular sunset in Pompeii| ©Canmandawe
Spectacular sunset in Pompeii| ©Canmandawe

To make sure you don't miss anything, I have created an article with the best tips for visiting Pompeii. Here are the 5 most relevant tips for you to take note of:

  1. Book your entrance ticket or excursion to Pompeii in advance: most excursions already include the entrance ticket, so you don't have to worry about it. But if you decide to go on your own, buy it in advance. You'll avoid long queues, especially at the weekend.
  2. Find an excursion that suits your travel style: choose between spending all your time in Pompeii or combining it with a panoramic tour of Naples or a hike up Vesuvius.
  3. With a guide, the better: Bear in mind that you will be visiting a city in ruins, so although there are some indicative signs, you will understand much better what you are visiting if they tell you what it was like millennia ago in the same place. On most tours you will have a local guide who will explain every nook and cranny. If you go on your own, we recommend paying a little more and renting an audio guide at the ticket office.
  4. Not to be missed: The forum, the amphitheatre, the theatres and the lupanar are not to be missed on your tour. Visit them all!
  5. Be prepared for an outdoor visit: if it's the hot season, don't forget your water bottle, hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. If it's expected to rain, you'll appreciate having an umbrella and a mackintosh handy. And, whether it's hot or cold... comfortable shoes!

Ana's Traveller Tip

Avoid travelling in summer. Outside the summer season, there will be fewer people and, above all, you'll be able to enjoy yourself without the sweltering heat of July and August exhausting you.

What should I take with me to Pompeii?

Walking around Pompeii| ©Christopher Ott
Walking around Pompeii| ©Christopher Ott

When strolling through the ruins of the city, you will find that very few places offer shade. So we recommend you carry a small backpack with a bottle of water, which you can refill for free at the various fountains along the route.

Don't forget to wear comfortable shoes because Pompeii can take an average of 4 hours to walk around. And, in the sunniest months, wear a cap, sunglasses and sunscreen. And, of course, don't leave your camera behind to keep the memories of this unique walk.

If you have a large backpack and don't want to carry it with you for the whole tour, don't worry because you'll find lockers at the entrance where you can leave it.

What to see in Pompeii

Walking tour of the ancient city of Pompeii| ©Unsplash
Walking tour of the ancient city of Pompeii| ©Unsplash

Pompeii was involuntarily frozen in time. More than 2,000 years ago, in 79 BC, the volcano Vesuvius erupted, burying the entire Roman city. And it was not rediscovered until 1550, when excavations began to free it from the mantle of lava that covered it. Today, walking through its ruins is a journey back in time and a silent reminder of the force of nature.

If you want to make the most of your visit to this archaeological park, here are the essential places you must see in Pompeii:

Forum

Undoubtedly, it was the epicentre of the city's life. This was where the social, religious and political life of Pompeii was concentrated. In its 150-metre length we can still enjoy some of the columns that surrounded it and imagine how it was originally filled with statues.

Temple of Apollo

Dedicated to the god of the sun and reason, this is one of Pompeii's emblematic sites, very close to the forum. It was built between the 8th and 7th centuries BC and is one of the oldest in the city. What remains today are several of its columns and the stairs that gave access to its podium.

Great Theatre

Up to 5,000 spectators could be concentrated in the stands of this theatre. As was the case in other venues, the spectators were arranged according to social class: the poorest at the top and the richest at the bottom.

Small Theatre

Although its dimensions are smaller - it can hold up to 1,000 spectators - its acoustics are much better. In fact, today it still hosts theatrical and musical performances - a privilege to see them from the stands!

Amphitheatre

It is true that its Roman brother, the Colosseum, is the most famous, but Pompeii's amphitheatre is the oldest surviving one. It dates back to 70 BC and had the capacity to hold 20,000 spectators. As in other similar arenas, gladiators used to pass through here to display their bravery.

If after visiting Pompeii and its Amphitheatre you still want to visit the Colosseum in Rome, don't forget that on your return you can organise a guided tour of the Colosseum or simply buy tickets to visit the interior at your leisure. I leave you here linked to the guides we have written about it so you can check them out: Rome Colosseum Tours and Rome Colosseum Tickets: how to buy, prices and schedules.

Lupanar

If there is one place that attracts the traveller's attention in Pompeii, it is this building. It is an ancient brothel, the most important in the Roman city. It is worth walking around its two floors, seeing its stone beds and appreciating its frescoes: from erotic motifs to engravings on the walls made by visitors and prostitutes. The upper floor was dedicated to the richest clients, while the lower floor was reserved for the poorest.

Orto dei fuggiaschi

Here we can put a face to the tragedy of the eruption of Vesuvius. 13 people who tried to flee were found here. Moulds were made of their bodies and today we can still see their desperate faces.

Terme Sabiane

Of the different baths that existed in the city, these are the best preserved. Come here to be impressed by the vault that covered its baths -differentiated between cold, warm and hot-, its gymnasium surrounded by columns and its open-air swimming pool.

House of Faun

It is one of the most important buildings to visit. It is one of the largest and most luxurious Roman houses known in the city. Various works of art that decorated it have been found here, such as the bronze statue of a faun or a mosaic of the battle of Issos. Today, however, you have to go to the Archaeological Museum of Naples to see the authentic pieces.

Villa of the Mysteries

In reality, this villa was located on the outskirts of the city, but it is worth a visit because it is one of the buildings that has survived the best. Inside, its frescoes have stood the test of time, so you will be able to transport yourself back to Roman times with greater clarity.

Where to eat on your trip to Pompeii

Delicious espresso coffee| ©Unsplash
Delicious espresso coffee| ©Unsplash

If you are thinking of booking an excursion from Rome to Pompeii, most of them include food in the price. If, on the other hand, they don't or you prefer to go on your own, here are some tips on where to eat in Pompeii.

The proximity to Naples means that this area has a spectacular gastronomy. You can't miss the opportunity to eat an authentic Neapolitan pizza, with fat and spongy edges. The coffee in this area is one of the best in the world, and if you want to finish your meal on a high note, order a limoncello, brought from the neighbouring Amalfi coast.

Book your trip to Pompeii

Festivals and events worth seeing in Pompeii

Amphitheatre of Pompeii| ©Unsplash
Amphitheatre of Pompeii| ©Unsplash

Want to make your visit even more special? Attend one of the events and exhibitions held in the ruins of Pompeii. For example, the 'Pompeii Theatrum Mundi' festival has been running for years in the summer months inside the archaeological park. Its ancient theatre hosts contemporary dance performances and mythical plays, from Sophocles to Shakespeare.

If you are interested in Pompeii you may also be interested in

Colosseum at sunset| ©David Köhler
Colosseum at sunset| ©David Köhler

If you have already decided to visit Pompeii from Rome, I think you won't go wrong and I am sure you will remember this trip for the rest of your life! If you are still not sure if this is the destination for you, I have also written another article on Best Day Trips from Rome that you might find interesting. In it I summarize the details of other excursions that you can do around Rome or other picturesque towns and villages that you can visit during your trip to Rome.

If, on the other hand, you want to make the most of your days in the capital of Italy, I also leave you some links to other guides to Rome so you can better organise your days there. Here you have the one about Rome Pass and other passes if you want to get a tourist card that allows you to save on visits to monuments, museums and attractions or this one about Best Rome Tours if you are one of those who like to explore the cities and not leave a single corner undiscovered.

Frequently asked questions

  • Am I going to see dead bodies in Pompeii?

    Yes, there are around 1,000 stone-covered bodies and ashes scattered around the ruins, giving you an accurate impression of the last moments of Pompeii's inhabitants.

  • Can I bring a pram to the exhibition?

    No, pushchairs are not allowed in the exhibition, as it contains numerous delicate objects and excavated material on display.

  • What attractions can I visit in Pompeii?

    On your visit, you will see Pompeii's great amphitheatre, the Villa of the Mysteries, which contains the finest example of Ancient Roman painting of the period, the Temple of Jupiter, the Temple of Apollo, and the Garden of the Fugitives, where you will find the largest number of victims in Pompeii combined.