Pompeii is located in the centre of the Italian peninsula, very close to Naples. Its location couldn't be more perfect: to the north, the imposing volcano Vesuvius rises and, to the south, the mythical Amalfi Coast. The best way to visit it 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.
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.
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 what life was like for the inhabitants, 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 the inhabitants of Pompeii who tried to escape from the lava without success and were petrified. A real open-air museum.
The tour also includes transfers and entrance fees 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, transport and entrance fees are included in the price.
Why is it worth going to Pompeii from Rome?
Although Rome is an open-air museum and was the epicentre of Roman civilisation, it is worth going to Pompeii to see 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 get the most out of your visit, hire 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 are still not convinced, don't hesitate to check out my article on whether Pompeii is worth visiting from Rome.
Useful details about excursions to Pompeii
- 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 leave 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.
But how much does it cost to visit Pompeii or take an excursion to Pompeii from Rome?
Depending on which 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 it will cost you to make a trip to the city of Vesuvius from Rome. In this article on how much it costs to visit Pompeii I help you work it out.
How to get to Pompeii from Rome?
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 you should know that there are also other ways to get to Pompeii if you prefer to visit Pompeii on your own.
Leaving from the Italian capital, you will have the option of travelling by train, by bus or even by car if you decide to rent your own vehicle to have more autonomy while 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?
To visit Pompeii from Rome you will 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 it is most common to 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 about the duration of tours and visits to Pompeii, I will 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 go by public transport. In this case, a high-speed train, although more expensive, will help you to save time on arrival and to make the most of your day in Pompeii.
Of course, an expert guide will certainly help you to 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?
Of course you can, Pompeii is a great destination to visit with the whole family and the little ones will love it. You will spend a day outdoors visiting 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 about 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 on visiting Pompeii with children for you to take into account some recommendations.
What to see and do near Pompeii
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:
See 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 time and energy, climbing 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 first visit to one of the most famous volcanoes in the world.
There are some excursions to Pompeii that include it, but if you're going on your own , don't hesitate to consider the option anyway. Here's how to climb Vesuvius, Pompeii's volcano.
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 you listen 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!
When is the best time to visit Pompeii?
The winters are long in Pompeii - 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.
What is the best day of the week to visit Pompeii?
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 around 15:30h, while in summer you can extend your visit until 18:00h. 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. Also, we recommend you visit Pompeii from Monday to Friday, as weekends are the busiest times to 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!
Tips to make your excursion to Pompeii a great one
So that 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:
- 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 will avoid long queues, especially during the weekend. 2. Find an excursion that suits your travel style: choose between dedicating all your time to Pompeii or combining it with a panoramic tour of Naples or climbing the Vesuvius volcano. 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 corner and, 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, 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 to Pompeii?
As you stroll through the ruins of the city, you'll find that very few places offer shade. So, we recommend you take 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. Oh, and of course, don't leave your camera behind to keep the memories of this unique tour.
If you have a large backpack and don't want to carry it with you for the whole tour, don't worry because at the entrance you'll find lockers where you can leave it.
What to see in Pompeii
Pompeii was unintentionally 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, visiting its ruins is a journey back in time and a silent reminder of the power 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:
This was undoubtedly the epicentre of the city's life. This was where the social, religious and political life of Pompeii was concentrated. The 150-metre-long Forum can still be seen with some of the columns that surrounded it and you can 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. Nowadays what remains are several of its columns and the stairs that gave access to its podium.
The Great Theatre
Up to 5,000 spectators could be concentrated in the stands of this theatre. As was the case in other theatres, the arrangement of the spectators depended on social class: the poorest at the top and the richest at the bottom.
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!
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. Here you have a link to the guides we have written about it so that you can consult them: Rome Colosseum Tours y Rome Colosseum Tickets: how to buy, prices and schedules.
If there is one place that catches 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, looking at 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
In this place 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 see their desperate faces.
Of the various thermal baths 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 or its open-air swimming pool.
House of Faunus
This 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 have been found here, such as the bronze statue of a faun and 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
This villa was actually located on the outskirts of the city but it is worth a visit because it is one of the best preserved buildings in the city. Inside, its frescoes have stood the test of time, so you'll be transported back to Roman times with greater clarity.
Where to eat on your trip to Pompeii
If you are thinking of booking an excursion from Rome to Pompeii, some 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 spectacular cuisine. You can't pass up 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.
Festivals and events worth seeing in Pompeii
Want to make your visit even more special? Attend one of the events and exhibitions taking place 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 will also be interested in
If you have already decided to visit Pompeii from Rome, I think you won't go wrong and I'm sure you will remember this excursion 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 The 9 best excursions from Rome that you might find interesting. In it I summarize the details of other excursions that you can do in the surroundings of 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 that you can better organise your days there. Here you have the one of Rome Pass and other passes if you want to get a tourist card that will allow you to save on visits to monuments, museums and attractions or this one about Top 11 tours of Rome if you are one of those who like to travel around the cities and don't 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 the largest number of victims in Pompeii are found together.