How to Get To Pompeii and Herculaneum

Mount Vesuvius’s volcanic eruption in 79 BC buried the ancient city of Pompeii and Herculaneum under a large volume of pumice and ash. The villages were rediscovered in 1748 and …

Mount Vesuvius’s volcanic eruption in 79 BC buried the ancient city of Pompeii and Herculaneum under a large volume of pumice and ash. The villages were rediscovered in 1748 and have since been excavated, providing invaluable insight into Roman life.

Pompeii and Herculaneum were wealthy towns with luxurious villas and grand public buildings. The eruption caught them completely unprepared, preserving everyday objects and personal belongings as they were at the moment of the disaster.

The finds at Pompeii and Herculaneum include wall paintings, mosaics, sculptures, jewelry, furniture, and even foodstuffs. You might wonder, “is Pompeii worth seeing” but let me tell you… seeing everyday items such as cookware, tools, lamps, and coins offer a unique glimpse into the lives of the Romans.

One of the significant points of interest in Pompeii and Herculaneum is the vast array of preserved artwork. Both cities were buried under ash and pumice from Mount Vesuvius’s eruption, which helped protect the paintings, frescoes, and mosaics from decay. Today, visitors can see colorful frescos depicting everything from landscapes to bacchanalian scenes and intricate mosaics on the floors. In addition to the art, many objects on display provide a glimpse into everyday life in these ancient cities, such as furniture, tools, and even food scraps.

Lastly, one of the most famous points of interest in Pompeii is the casts of the people buried in the city during the eruption. These casts preserve the exact position of the inhabitants of the city at the time of the eruption.

By plane

Where is the airport located?

Pompeii and Herculaneum are located close to the modern-day town of Naples in the Campania region of southern Italy. The closest airport is Naples International Airport, about 29km (18 miles) from Pompeii and 15km (9 miles) from Herculaneum.

Naples International Airport is the main airport in the Naples area. It is located about 6km (4 miles) northeast of Naples city center. The airport has one passenger terminal, which was renovated and expanded in 2011. It offers flights to many destinations in Europe and North America.

How to get to Pompeii and Herculaneum from the airport

Train

There is no express route from Naples Airport to Herculaneum or Pompeii. However, there are a few indirect routes that will get you there. The first option is to take the Alibus bus from the airport to Naples Central Station. You can catch the Circumvesuviana train to Ercolano-Scavino station, next to Herculaneum’s archaeological site, or Pompeii Villa Dei Misteri for Pompeii.

The trip to the train station is about 15 minutes and costs approximately €5. The train from Napoli Centrale to Herculaneum takes about 20 minutes, costing €2.90; from the train station to the site in Herculaneum, it is a 500-meter walk. The train from Napoli Piazza Garibaldi to Pompeii takes about 40 minutes, and costs €3.80; the train station in Pompeii is right outside the archeological site.

Taxi

A taxi is a great but expensive way to get from the airport to Herculaneum or Pompeii. The cost of a taxi ride to Herculaneum is usually around 80 euros round trip. The drive takes about 15 minutes, and the taxi will wait for you for about 2 hours. A taxi ride to Pompeii costs about 100 euros round trip. Depending on traffic, the ride takes about 25 minutes, and the taxi will wait at the site for 1-2 hours. A taxi ride for both sites is €140 round trip.

Bus

The bus is also a great way to get to  Pompeii from the airport. To catch the bus from the airport to Herculaneum, exit the arrivals terminal and turn right. You will see a sign for the Curreri Viaggi – this is where you need to go. The stop for bus is at the end of the platform. The trip lasts about an hour and charges approximately €10.00. 

By Train

If you’re staying in Naples, you’ll find that you can quickly get to Pompeii and Herculaneum by train. The train station in Pompeii and Herculaneum is near both towns’ entrances. In Pompeii, it is located just after the Porta Marina, which is the gate that leads to the sea. Herculaneum is found just after the Porta Ercolano, the gate that leads to Mount Vesuvius, about 10 minutes from the station.

Major trains From Rome, Milan, Florence, or Venice

To reach Pompeii or Herculaneum from Rome, Milan, Florence, or Venice, you will need to reach Naples first, then change trains and catch the Circumvesuviana train to the small town of Pompeii or Herculaneum.

The significant trains from Rome to Pompeii and Herculaneum are the Intercity trains and the Frecciarossa high-speed trains to Naples. Both trains offer a wide range of amenities, including Wi-Fi, power outlets, and seating options. The Intercity trains offer several service classes, including economy, business, and first. The Frecciarossa high-speed trains have only one service class. Still, it provides various amenities, including Wi-Fi, power outlets, a food carriage with multiple options, and comfortable reclined seats.

The significant trains from Milan to Pompeii and Herculaneum depart from the Milano Centrale Station to Naples. The journey time is approximately five to 6 hours, with one change of train required. The first stop on the route is Naples, where passengers can disembark and explore the city before catching a connecting train to Pompeii or Herculaneum. 

Tickets for the journey can be booked online, at any of the main railway stations in Italy, or on board the train itself. Several different ticket types are available, including a combined ticket which includes admission to both archaeological sites.

The significant trains from Florence to Pompeii and Herculaneum depart from the Santa Maria Novella. The trip to these towns can take 3 and half hours on the high speed train. Check the schedule on Trenitalia’s website before purchasing your ticket to know which train to take. 

Several Trenitalia trains depart from Venice Santa Lucia Station and arrive at Naples Centrale Station. The trip will last 5 to 6 hours. From there, you can take the Circumvesuviana to Pompeii and Herculaneum.

By Car

Distance from (Rome, Milan, Florence, and Venice)

The distance from the central city of Rome to Herculaneum is 230 kilometers and takes about two hours, and from Rome to Pompeii is 245 kilometers and takes about two and a half hours to drive by car. The roads are easy to navigate and smooth, making your adventure simple. Several scenic routes can be taken, offering travelers beautiful countryside views. Visitors will also pass through several small villages, each with a unique charm.

The distance from Milan to Pompeii is approximately 786.8 kilometers, and it takes about 8 hours to drive by car. From Milan to Herculaneum is about 774 kilometers and takes about seven and a half hours.

The distance from Florence to Pompeii is approximately 488 kilometers, and it takes about 5 hours to drive by car. And the distance from Florence to Herculaneum is around 470 kilometers and takes about four and a half hours.

The distance from Venice to Pompeii is approximately 741 kilometers, and it takes about seven and a half hours to drive by car. Also, the distance from Venice to Herculaneum is around 730 kilometers and takes about 7 hours.

Parking options

Visitors will find various parking options when exploring the ancient Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Street parking is available in both cities, and several public parking lots are available. The most considerable lot is in Pompeii, located just outside the Porta Marina entrance to the town. Herculaneum also has a large lot near the archaeological site entrance. 

Smaller lots are also available in both towns and allow visitors to park close to the sights they plan to visit. Parking fees vary depending on the lot but generally fall between 2 and 5 euros per hour. These lots are only accessible during daylight. They don’t stay open at night.

Traffic situation

The traffic situation in Pompeii and Herculaneum is often chaotic, and it can be challenging to navigate the narrow streets. It is not advisable to drive in these towns, as there is a lot of congestion and finding parking spaces can be a challenge. There are also several one-way streets, which can further complicate matters. Drivers are reminded to pay attention to pedestrian areas.

By Bus

If you’re looking to visit the ancient ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, two popular tourist destinations in southern Italy, you’ll need to take a bus from mainland Italy. Several major bus routes will take you there, through scenic and gorgeous areas of the countryside.

The most popular route is the Naples-Pompeii-Herculaneum bus, which runs multiple times daily between Naples and these two historic towns. The bus makes multiple stops, including at Mount Vesuvius, so you can enjoy some spectacular views on your trip. 

Another great option is the Rome-Pompeii bus route. This route also runs multiple times daily, taking about 2. 5 hours to complete. This bus route also stops at various points so you can explore the area between these two cities.

Several tour companies offer this service, so you can find one that fits your budget and schedule. Be sure to ask about the pick-up time and location, as it may vary depending on the company.

By cruise

Cruise ships offer a unique way to explore the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. In addition to seeing the sites from the water, passengers can enjoy various onboard activities, including lectures by experts and wine tastings. Almost every cruise line offers a Mediterranean cruise that stops in Naples, and from there, they offer several excursions to Pompeii or Herculaneum.

Italian Travel Inspiration Delivered Directly to Your Inbox.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to explore new Italian destinations and travel tips and advice from the locals on the ground

Subscribe to receive emails from Ready Set Italy.

Read Our Privacy Policy.

Maybe Later